Title: A History of the English Church in New Zealand
Author: Henry Thomas Purchas
Release date: February 9, 2010 [eBook #31234]
|Note:||Images of the original pages are available through Internet Archive. See http://www.archive.org/details/historyofenglish00purc|
The spelling in this text has been left as it appears in the
original book except where it was inconsistent within the text.
Details of changes made are shown within the text with and are listed in full at the end of the text.
WILLIAM LEONARD WILLIAMS,
sometime Bishop of Waiapu.
is respectfully dedicated in memory of
the eminent services rendered to the New Zealand Church
by himself and others of his name.
H. T. PURCHAS, M.A.
Vicar of Glenmark, N.Z.
Canon of Christchurch Cathedral, and Examining
Chaplain to the Bishop.
"Bishop Harper and the Canterbury Settlement,"
"Johannine Problems and Modern Needs."
SIMPSON & WILLIAMS LIMITED
G. ROBERTSON & CO. PROPY. LTD., MELBOURNE.
SAMPSON LOW & CO. LTD., LONDON.
BY THE SAME AUTHOR
Bishop Harper and the Canterbury Settlement.
"We are glad to welcome this book. It has been very well written; it is interesting throughout; one's attention never flags; it is exactly what was wanted by churchmen, and should be on the book-shelf of every churchman in at least this Colony.... We simply advise every one of our readers to buy it and read it, and let their boys and girls read it too."
Auckland Church Gazette.
"One reads it as eagerly as though it were a novel."
N. Z. Guardian (Dunedin).
"Just the book to present to any young clergyman who wishes to have the life of an ideal pastor before him."
Nelson Diocesan Gazette.
"A valuable addition to our growing library of historical literature."
"In many respects the book is a model biography."
Evening Post (Wellington).
"A very valuable contribution to the early history of New Zealand.... Throws considerable light on the pioneering days in Canterbury."
REVISED AND ENLARGED EDITION
"To some extent re-written.... The additions considerably exceed the omissions.... Generally, in all respects in which the book is fuller it may be said to be more full of interest."
Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd. - Publishers
If asked why I took in hand a task of such difficulty and delicacy as that of writing a History of the Church in our Dominion, I can really find no more truthful answer than that of the schoolboy, "Please, Sir, I couldn't help it." From boyhood's days in the old country, when a copy of the Life of Marsden fell into my hands, I felt drawn to the subject; the reading of Selwyn's biography strengthened the attraction; the urging of friends in later years combined with my own inclinations; and thus the work was well on its way when the General Synod of 1913 committed it to my hands as a definite duty.
For the last quarter of a century the Church of this Dominion has indeed possessed a history by my honoured teacher, Dean Jacobs. That scholarly volume could hardly be bettered on the constitutional side. In this department the Dean wrote as one who had taken no mean part in the events which he describes. His ecclesiastical learning and his judicial temper rendered him admirably qualified for the task. In working over the same ground I have perhaps been able to point out a few facts which he had missed or ignored, but on the whole I have left this part of the field to him. This is not a constitutional history: it seeks rather to depict the general life of the Church, and the ideals which guided its leading figures.
The Dean's description of the missionary period is also an admirable piece of work, but he had not the advantage of the stores of material which are now available. Through the indefatigable enthusiasm of the late Dr. Hocken the journals of the early missionaries have been brought to this country, and are made available to the student. His comprehensive collection enables us to come into close touch with days which are already far distant from our own. Of course the historian must be guided by the principle, summa sequi fastigia rerum; but he[vi] cannot estimate aright the work of the heroic leaders and rulers of the Church unless he can follow the thoughts and careers of the less conspicuous agents—the humble missionary or catechist, the native convert or thinker.
In acknowledging my obligations to the late Dr. Hocken, I would wish to express my gratitude to the authorities of the Dunedin Museum, where his is kept; and also to my friend Archdeacon Woodthorpe, who kindly placed at my service the unpublished volume in which Dr. Hocken's researches into the life of Marsden are contained. For permission to consult the Godley correspondence in the Christchurch Museum I have to thank the Board of Governors of Canterbury College; and for the loan of a rare and valuable pamphlet on the death of the Rev. C. S. Volkner I am greatly indebted to Mr. Alexander Turnbull, of Wellington. Archdeacon Fancourt, of the same city, has afforded me generous help in recovering some of the early history of the diocese he has so long served; while, in Auckland, the Rev. J. King Davis—a descendant of the two missionaries whose names he bears—has enabled me to identify the positions of some long forgotten pas, and has furnished valuable information on other points. Other correspondents, from the Bay of Islands to Otago, have assisted generously with their local knowledge. Outside of New Zealand I have to acknowledge help from Mrs. Hobhouse, of Wells, and the Ven. Archdeacon Hobhouse, of Birmingham, the widow and son of the first Bishop of Nelson.
Many clergy have kindly acceded to my application for photographs of their churches. A fair number of these I have been able to use, and to all the senders I desire to express my thanks. For the view of the ruined church at Tamaki I am indebted to Miss Brookfield, of Auckland, and for the excellent representation of the scene at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi to Mr. A. F. McDonnell, of Dunedin. In the preparation of the MS. for the press I have been greatly assisted by the Rev. H. East, Vicar of Leithfield.
But the greatest help of all remains to be told. To the aged and venerable Bishop Leonard Williams this book owes more than I can estimate. Not only has he furnished me with abundant information from the stores of his own unique and first-hand knowledge, but, on many points, he has engaged in[vii] fresh and laborious research. Every chapter has been sent to him as soon as written, and has benefited immensely by his careful and judicial criticism. Without this thorough testing my book would be far more imperfect than it is.
It is due, however, to the bishop, as well as to my readers, to state emphatically that he is in no way responsible for the views expressed in this book. There are, in fact, a few points on which we do not quite agree. The intricacies of high policy or of mingled motive will never appeal in exactly the same way to different minds. My aim throughout has been to arrive at the simple truth, and I have often been driven to abandon long-cherished ideas by its imperative demand.
In the spelling of Maori names Bishop Williams' authority has always been followed except when a place is looked at from the pakeha or colonial point of view. Then it is spelt in the colonial manner. Readers may be glad to be warned against confusing Turanga (Poverty Bay) with Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty. Similarly, it may be well to call attention to the wide difference between Tamihana Te Waharoa and Tamihana Te Rauparaha. Both were notable men, but their characters were not alike, and they took opposite sides in the great war.
The scope of this book has not permitted me to trace the history of the Melanesian Mission, nor to deal with the island dependencies of our Dominion. Even within the limits of New Zealand itself the treatment of the later period may perhaps inadequate. But the events of the years 1850-1890 have been already covered to some extent in my book, "Bishop Harper and the Canterbury Settlement," while for the latest stage of all I have the pleasure of appending to this preface a valuable letter from the present Primate, whose high office and long experience enable him to speak with unique authority upon the life of the Church of to-day.
H. T. P.
Glenmark Vicarage, Canterbury, N.Z.,
LETTER FROM THE MOST REVEREND THE PRIMATE.
Dear Canon Purchas—
In consideration of my long career as a church-worker in New Zealand, you have honoured me with a request to add to your forthcoming volume of the History of the Church here a short account of my impressions as to her life and progress since 1871, and also my ideas as to her prospects and the chief tasks which lie before her.
I think the most convenient form in which I could attempt to supply the need would be by addressing a letter to you embracing these topics, which letter, should you esteem it worthy, could be printed with your Preface.
In turning, then, to your first question, I have to premise that the life and progress of any institution are very largely affected by attendant circumstances and surroundings for which perhaps the leaders of the institution itself are not responsible. Thus, with reference to our Provincial Church at the period you mention, she was weakened by the loss of not a few of those upon whom she had leaned for counsel and stimulating influence. Bishops Hobhouse and Abraham, Sir William Martin and Mr. Swainson, besides other prominent churchmen, such as Sir George Arney, and others less known, speedily followed their great leader, Bishop Selwyn, to England, or were removed by other causes. Without any surrender to the weakness of a mere laudator temporis acti, I look back to the time of my arrival in New Zealand with a feeling that there were giants in the earth in those days. Many whom we have more recently lost were also with us then—men like Messrs. Acland and Hanmer and Maude and Sewell, Col. Haultain, Mr. Hunter-Brown, and, of course, Bishop Hadfield and Dean Jacobs. Many of these were men of marked ability, men who made the synod halls ring with their forcible utterances, men full of knowledge of the Church and love for her, full of self-sacrificing spirit and determination to make her a praise in the[ix] faithful guardian of our Church's influence, Primate Harper. The loss of such fathers of the Church has been felt in the interval under review, and could not but affect the life and progress of the Church. It is not for me to say anything of those by whom their places have been filled.
Another adverse circumstance which must be called to mind in such a review is the long period of commercial depression which followed a short period of fictitious prosperity and inflated values. Misled by the apparently fair prospect of making money rapidly—of which prospect a shoal of interested persons sprang up to make the most—undertakings were entered upon on borrowed capital and properties were bought at prices which could not be realised upon them perhaps twenty years afterwards. The consequence of all this was a widespread desolation. My diocesan visitations were in those days largely made on horseback, and in a journey of perhaps many hundred miles I had to look upon stations and homesteads at which I had formerly been hospitably received, whether their owners belonged to our communion or not, either closed altogether or left in charge of a shepherd.
Many of the proprietors of these sheep stations had been liberal supporters of the Church, and their ruin spelt disaster to the authorities of the nearest clerical charge, if not also the weakness of diocesan institutions. During those long, long years, diocesan management was a weariness indeed, and not the less so because it was so hard to keep up the courage even of our church-workers themselves. I am thankful to say that no organised charge within my own diocese was closed in that period, but it was manifestly impossible to subdivide districts and so to introduce additional clergy. Little else could be thought of than holding on.
By these circumstances, then, the life of the Church was affected and her progress hindered. New conditions were developed, and the rulers of the Church had to accept and provide for these new conditions. I am far from saying that the large displacement of the pastoral industry by the agricultural was a misfortune either to the country or the Church: as regards the latter, the large increase of the population upon the land has given the Church more scope for the exercise of her ministerial activities; but for vestries and church [x] the work is harder, demanding, as it does, so much closer attention to details. In the old days one man might ride round the eight or ten stations within a district, and by collecting £10 to £20 from each would thus easily raise a large part of the stipend of the clergyman, and at the same time enjoy a pleasant visit to his friends. The collecting from a large number of scattered persons is a different matter, and means many workers and much patience. It is not unnatural, therefore, that this outlying work is avoided, and that the church officials rely too much upon the residents in towns and villages. This is a danger of the present, and needs close attention. A vestry easily becomes content so soon as in one way or another it has got together enough money wherewith to discharge its obligations; but there can be no free and elastic expansion unless the interest of all her members is enlisted by the Church, and each is willing to do his part in the establishment of the kingdom of Christ.
I think the progress of the Church of late years has been satisfactory. We have a body of clergy who, in devotion to their work and ability for the performance of it, need not fear comparison with those of other countries, not excluding the average of the English clergy themselves; and I think it high time that that insulting enactment known as the "Colonial Clergy Act" was rescinded. It is an unworthy bar to full inter-communion between areas of the Church which profess to be at one. As to our lay people I can only say that I often stand amazed at the willing and patient sacrifice they make of time and effort in the management of church affairs in synods, on vestries, and committees of every kind for the promotion of her work.
As to the future, the great task of the Church is, to my mind, the instruction both of the young clergy and the young laity as to the Divine Commission and real nature of the Church. Since union through the truth is the only method authorised by Holy Scripture, we must teach and teach and teach. That is the task of our divinity schools and of the clergy in preparing their candidates for confirmation: line upon line and precept upon precept, definite and clear instruction should be given so that the future heads of families may know and value[xi] their privileges, and the whole population will be impressed by the strength of our convictions.
I am afraid I have allowed my pen to run beyond the limits you had in view, but you must do what you think well with this letter, and believe me to remain,
S. T. DUNEDIN, Primate.
Bishopsgrove, January, 1914.
The Keystone Printing Co.,
552-4 Lonsdale Street, Melb.
Slow progress of Christianity towards Antipodes—Moslem barrier—Effect of the Renaissance—Europeans south of the barrier—Dutch in East Indies—Tasman's discovery of New Zealand—"Three Kings Island"—Cook's visit—Convict settlement at Port Jackson—Conclusions.
the preparation (1805-1813).
The Bay of Islands—Te Pahi—His visit to New South Wales—Meeting with Marsden—Te Pahi's return and death—Ruatara—His arrival in England—Marsden at Home—The Church Missionary Society—Its plans for New Zealand Mission—Hall and King—Marsden meets Ruatara on Active—Boyd massacre—Delay—Ruatara's return to New Zealand—The years of waiting.
the enterprise (1813-1815).
Conditions more favourable—Preliminary voyage of Active—"Noah's Ark"—Arrival of mission in New Zealand—Interview with Whangaroans—"Rangihoo"—Landing of Marsden, &c.—Preparation for service—Christmas Day, 1814—Marsden's narrative—Planting of settlement—Gathering timber—Ruatara's illness and death—His work.
the reception (1815-1822).
Position of settlers—Hall at Waitangi—Communistic experiment—Difficulty with Kendall—The mission in trouble—Visit of Rev. S. Leigh—Renewed zeal—Second visit of Marsden—Foundation of Kerikeri station[xiv]—Marsden's third visit—Hongi and Kendall leave for England—Reception by King George IV—Marsden's journeys in New Zealand—Hinaki of Mokoia—Return of Hongi and Kendall—Change in Hongi—Siege of Mokoia—Devastation of Thames district—Miserable plight of missionaries—Closing of seminary at Parramatta.
the new beginning (1823-1830).
Need of the mission—Arrival of Rev. H. Williams—His character—Settlement at Paihia—New workers—Difficulties in farming—Richard Davis—Building of the Herald—Schools—Flight of Wesleyans from Whangaroa—Death of Hongi—Peace-making—The "Girls' War"—Conversions—Taiwhanga—Baptisms—Effectiveness of schools—Evidences of progress.
the forward move (1831-1837).
Exploration—Expedition to Kaitaia—Station formed—Cape Reinga—Expedition to Thames—Evening service—Surprising reception—Visit to Te Waharoa—Station at Puriri—Visit to Waikato—Station at Mangapouri—Tauranga—Rotorua—The Rotorua-Thames war—Looting of Ohinemutu station—Flight from Matamata—Mrs. Chapman's bonnet—Withdrawal of missionaries—Ngakuku and Tarore—Marsden's last visit—Progress in the north—Departure of Marsden—Estimate of his work and character.
years of the right hand (1838-1840).
Re-occupation of Rotorua and Tauranga—Visit to Opotiki—Station there—Maunsell at Waikato Heads—Visit of Bishop Broughton—Influenza—Octavius Hadfield—The east coast—Taumatakura—W. Williams moves to Poverty Bay—Ripahau at Cook Strait—Rauparaha—Tamihana learns from Ripahau—Tamihana and Te Whiwhi come to Bay of Islands—Hadfield offers to return with them—H. Williams and Hadfield visit Port Nicholson—Kapiti—Work of Ripahau—Peace-making[xv]—Williams at Whanganui—Ascends the river—Village bells—March to Taupo—Tauranga—Wairarapa—The instructions of Karepa.
Arrival of Hobson—Treaty of Waitangi—Opposition of New Zealand Company—The work of the missionaries—Absence of authority—Kendall the Gnostic—The new workers—Bible translation—Simplicity in worship—And in life—Buying of land—Motives tested by selection of Auckland—Darwin's verdict—Missionaries and Methodists—Friendly relations—Disagreement on West Coast—Arrival of Roman mission—Hardships—Koinaki's taua—Causes of rapid spread of Christianity among Maoris—Gifts of civilisation—Religiousness of Maori nature—Letters of converts—The old heart—Marvellous memory—Hopes for the future.
the beginnings of the new order (1839-1842).
Arrival of immigrants—Principles of the New Zealand Company—Opposition of the C.M.S.—Henry Williams and the Wellington settlers—Arrival of Bishop Selwyn—His ideals—His choice of Waimate—Condition of the country—Bishop's first tour—Nelson—Wellington—Whanganui—New Plymouth—Journey across the island—Waiapu—Bay of Plenty—Waikato—Return to Waimate.
Bishop Selwyn's ecclesiastical position—Religious divisions—Formation of St. John's College—Death of Whytehead—Communism in practice—A lesson to the world—Ordinations—Bishop's second tour—White Terraces—Whanganui River—Wairau tragedy—Hadfield and Wiremu Kingi save Wellington—Tamihana Te Rauparaha[xvi]—His mission to the south—Bishop's visit to Canterbury—Otago—Stewart Island—Akaroa—Return to Waimate—Difference with C.M.S.—Bonds of fellowship—Ordinations—Synod—Bishop leaves Waimate.
conflict and trouble (1845-1850).
Settlement in Auckland—College founded at Tamaki—Continued disagreement with C.M.S.—Heke's rebellion—His tactics—Burning of —Charge against Henry Williams—Ohaeawai—Governor Grey—The Bats' Nest—"Blood and Treasure Despatch"—"Substantiation or Retractation"—Bishop joins Governor—His motives—Dismissal of Henry Williams by C.M.S.—Removal to Pakaraka—Subsequent history of Bay of Islands.
sacrifice and healing (1850-1856).
Selwyn visits Chatham Islands—Melanesia—Progress at Otaki and Wanganui—Troubles—Epidemic at St. John's—Failure of communistic system—Lutherans at Chatham Island—Porirua—Effect of H. Williams' dismissal—Journey of W. Williams to England—Improvement of relations between bishop and missionaries—Arrival of Rev. C. J. Abraham—Of Canterbury colonists—Ideals of Canterbury Association—Godley captured by Selwyn—Disagreement between them and the Association—Bishop wins affections of colonists—Break-up of Maori side of St. John's College—Visit of Bishop to England—Concordat between him and the C.M.S.—Return to New Zealand—Election of Rev. H. J. C. Harper to Christchurch—Arrival and installation of Bishop Harper.
organisation and progress (1850-1859).
Difficulty of creating ecclesiastical government in the colonies—Governor Grey drafts constitution—Its favourable reception—Discussed by Australian bishops—The Royal Supremacy—Godley's advocacy of freedom—Meetings to discuss constitution—C.M.S. opposition disarmed[xvii]—"Voluntary compact"—Taurarua Conference—Struggle over ecclesiastical franchise—Promulgation of Constitution—Legal recognition—The new bishoprics—Wellington, Nelson, Waiapu—Completion of organisation of Church.
trouble and anguish (1859-62).
Sudden darkness—Working of constitution—Paucity of Maori clergy—Inadequacy of mission Staff—Tamihana Te Waharoa—His ideals—The king movement—Suspicion of its loyalty—Governor Gore-Browne precipitates war in Taranaki—Sympathy of "king" natives—Growth of king movement—Good order of its rule—Defeat of Taranaki natives—Truce—Attempt at justice to Maoris—General Synod at Nelson—Discontent of Canterbury churchmen.
ruin and desolation (1862-1868).
Position in 1862—Meeting at Peria—Position of Waikato Maoris—Grey brings on another war—Rangiaohia—Defeat of "king" forces—Henare Taratoa—His rules—Heroic action—Death—Devastation by British forces—Hauhauism—Wiremu Hipango—Hauhaus at Opotiki—Murder of Rev. C. S. Volkner—A night of horror—The trial—Bishop Patteson's memorial sermon—Selwyn starts to the rescue of Rev. T. Grace—Critical situation of Bishop Williams—Rescue of Grace—Removal of Bishop Williams—The third General Synod—Death of Tamihana—And of Henry Williams—Journey of Bishop Selwyn to England—Offer of Lichfield bishopric—Refusal—Acceptance—Tribute to his character and work.
after the war. the maoris.
Changes produced by war and immigration—Separateness of Maori and pakeha—Maoris and Sir George Grey[xviii]—Siege of Waerenga-a-hika—S. Williams at Te Aute—Return of Bishop Williams—Reconstitution of diocese of Waiapu—Te Kooti at Chatham Island—His prayers—Poverty Bay massacre—Ringa-tu—Depressed state of Maori Christianity—Present condition of Maoris.
after the war. the colonists (1868-1878).
Troubles in the colonial Church—Dunedin—Nomination of the Rev. H. L. Jenner—Opposition to his appointment—His rejection by General Synod—And by the Synod of Dunedin—Illness of Bishop Patteson—His last voyage—His death—Weakness in the dioceses—Education Act of 1877—Episcopal changes.
the church of to-day (1878-1914).
The Blue Gum period—The Pine period—The Macrocarpa period—Recovery—New churches—Bishop Harper's resignation—Disputed election—Bishop Hadfield, primate—Labour movement—Retirement of bishops—Fresh episcopal appointments—The General Mission of 1910.
the church at work.
Doctrine and discipline—Worship—Hymns—Clergy—Theological colleges—Parish priests of the past—Church buildings—ADMINISTRATION—Legal position of priests and people—The General Synod—Patronage—Finance—EDUCATION—Grammar schools—Primary education—Bible-in-schools movement—Sunday-schools—CHARITABLE RELIEF—MISSIONARY EFFORTS—Maori Mission—Melanesian Mission—the Church Missionary Association—Conclusion.
|1.||Portrait of Samuel Marsden||Frontispiece|
|2.||Map of North Island, showing Missionary Routes||Facing||page||16|
|3.||View of Paihia||"||"||33|
|4.||Henry Williams at the Treaty of Waitangi||"||"||49|
|5.||Portrait of Bishop Selwyn||"||"||64|
|6.||Ruins of St. Thomas', Tamaki||"||"||82|
|7.||Old Church at Russell||"||"||89|
|9.||A Village Church, Stoke, near Nelson||"||"||113|
|10.||St. Matthew's Church, Auckland||"||"||128|
|11.||St. Matthew's Church, Dunedin||"||"||145|
|13.||Map of the Bay of Islands||"||"||169|
|14.||St. John's Cathedral, Napier||"||"||177|
|15.||All Saints' Church, Palmerston North||"||"||193|
|16.||St. John's, Invercargill||"||"||200|
|17.||St. Luke's, Oamaru||"||"||209|
|18.||Wanganui School Chapel||"||"||225|
|19.||Baptistery of St. Matthew's, Auckland||"||"||233|
|20.||New Zealand Bishops||"||"||240|
Beginning from Jerusalem.
A commercial message of trifling import may now be flashed in a few minutes from Jerusalem to the Antipodes: the message of Christ's love took nearly eighteen centuries to make the journey. For a time, indeed, the advance was direct and swift, for before the third century after Christ a Church had established itself in South India. But there the missionary impulse failed. Had the first rate of progress been maintained, the message would have reached our shores a whole millennium before it actually arrived.
But what would have been then its form and content? Had it made its way from island to island, passing through the minds of Malay, Papuan, or Melanesian on its passage, how much of its original purity would have been preserved? And who would have been here to receive it? Possibly, only the moa and the apteryx. Who knows?
These considerations enable us to look with less regret upon the check which the Christian message received after its first rapid advance. The rise of Mohammedanism in the sixth century drove the faith of Christ from Asia and from Africa, but it kept it "white." It threw a barrier across the old road which led from Jerusalem to the Antipodes, but the barrier enabled preparation to be made on either side for a grander and more fruitful intercourse. On the south of the Islamic empire the migrations of the peoples brought to our islands the Maori race, who made them their permanent home. On the north, the Christian faith took firm hold of the maritime nations of Europe, from whom the missionaries of the future were to spring.
The capture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1452 may be taken as the turning point. It closed more firmly than ever the land-route to the south, but the libraries of this great city, in which was preserved nearly all that remained of ancient learning, were scattered by the captors, and their contents carried far and wide. New Testament manuscripts awakened fresh study in the western world, and led to a cleansing and quickening of religion; narratives of old Greek explorers made men impatient of the barrier which blocked them from the lands which the ancients had known, and thus drove them to seek new routes by sea.
Marvellous was the energy which now awoke. By 1492 Columbus had crossed the Atlantic, and Vasco da Gama, having rounded the African continent, had reached India by an ocean road which had nothing to fear from the Mussulman power.
Two routes, in fact, had now been opened, for not only did the Portuguese follow up da Gama's discoveries in the Indian Ocean, but the Spaniards from the American side soon entered the Pacific. But neither of these nations quite reached our distant islands. Their ships were swept from the sea in the seventeenth century by the Dutch, whose eastern capital was Batavia. From this port there started in 1642 a small expedition of two ships under the command of Abel Tasman. Heading his journal with the words, "May the Almighty God give His blessing to this voyage," the courageous Hollander went forth, and, sailing round the Australian continent, struck boldly across the sea which now bears his name. On December 16th the mountainous coast of our South Island rose before him, and what we may now call New Zealand was seen by European eyes. The ferocity of the inhabitants prevented the explorer from landing on its shores, but his expedition spent some weeks along the coast. His austere Calvinism prevented Tasman from observing in any special manner the festival of Christmas, but as a Rhinelander he could not forget the "Three Kings of Cologne," whom legend had associated with the Magi of the Gospels. On Twelfth Night his ships were abreast of the small island which lies at the extreme north of the country, and "this island," wrote Tasman, "we named Drie Koningen Eyland (i.e., Three Kings Island), on account of this being the day of Epiphany."
Here then, at last, was a spot of New Zealand soil to which a name was attached which told of something Christian. The name stood alone as yet, but it contained a promise of the time when the Gentile tribes should come to Christ's light, and their kings to the brightness of His rising.
For nearly a century and a half the startled Maoris treasured the memory of the white-winged ships of the Hollander, before they saw any others like them. At length, in 1769, there appeared the expedition of Captain Cook. England had now wrested from the Dutch the sovereignty of the seas, and Cook was looking for the "New Zealand" which appeared on the Dutch maps, but which no living European had ever seen. More tactful and more fortunate than his forerunner, Cook was able to open a communication with the islanders and to conciliate their good-will.
Not yet, however, was England prepared to follow up the lead thus given. Not until her defeat by the American colonists, which closed the "New World" against her convicts, did Britain's statesmen bethink them of the still newer world which had been made known by the explorer. In 1787 an expedition went forth from England—not indeed to New Zealand, but—to South-east Australia, where a penal colony was established at Port Jackson. A strange and repulsive spectacle the enterprise presented, yet these convict ships were the instruments for carrying on the message which had been sent out from Jerusalem by apostolic bearers. "Did God send an army of pious Christians to prepare His way in the wilderness?" asked Samuel Marsden, the second chaplain of this colony. "Did He establish a colony in New South Wales for the advancement of His glory and the salvation of the heathen nations in those distant parts of the globe by men of character and principle? On the contrary, He takes men from the dregs of society, the sweepings of gaols, hulks, and prisons. Men who had forfeited their lives to the laws of their country, He gives them their lives for a prey, and sends them forth to make a way for His chosen, for them that should bring glad tidings of good things. How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!"
Advance and retreat; check and recovery; failure of methods which seemed direct and divine; compensating success through agencies that looked hostile; the winds of the Spirit blowing where they list—none able to tell beforehand whence they are coming or whither they will go: such are the outstanding features of the long journey of the Christian faith across the globe; such will be found to mark its history when established in this land.
Every noble work is at first "impossible." In very truth: for every noble work the possibilities will lie diffused through immensity, inarticulate, undiscoverable except to faith.
For the seed-plot of Christianity and of civilisation in New Zealand we must look away from the present centres of population to the beautiful harbours which cluster round the extreme north of the country. Chief among these stands the Bay of Islands. This noble sheet of water, with its hundred islands, its far-reaching inlets, its wooded coves and sheltered beaches, was for more than a quarter of a century the focus of whatever intellectual or spiritual light New Zealand enjoyed. Here the Gospel of Christ was first proclaimed, and the first Mission stations were established. Here were founded the first schools, the first printing press, the first theological college, the first library. Here the first bishop fixed his headquarters, and here he convened the first synod. Here was signed the Treaty of Waitangi, by which the islands passed under British rule, and here was the temporary capital of the first governor. Here, too, was the theatre of the first war between Maoris and white men; here stood the flagstaff which Heke cut down; from these hills on the west the missionaries beheld the burning of Kororareka, whose smoke went up "like the smoke of a furnace."
At the opening of the nineteenth century this important locality was occupied by the warlike and enterprising tribe of the Ngapuhi. The soil was generally infertile, but the waters teemed with fish, while the high clay cliffs and the narrow promontories lent themselves readily to the Maori system of fortification. The safe anchorage which the Bay afforded early drew to it the whaling ships of Europe, especially as the harbour was accessible from the ocean in all weathers. The Ngapuhi eagerly welcomed these new comers, and prepared to take full advantage of whatever benefits the outside world might offer.
Among the various hapus of this tribe stands out pre-eminent that which owed allegiance to the chief Te Pahi. This warrior had fortified an island close to Te Puna on the north side of the bay. In readiness to receive new ideas, and in the power to assimilate them, he and his kinsmen, Ruatara and Hongi, were striking examples of the height to which the Maori race could attain. Hardly had the century dawned which was to bring New Zealand within the circle of the Christian world, when word came to Te Pahi of the wonders to be seen at Norfolk Island, and of the friendly nature of its governor, Captain King. To test for himself the truth of these tidings, the chief, with his four sons, set forth (about 1803) across the sea to the great convict station. The friendly governor had left the island, but Te Pahi followed him on to New South Wales, little thinking of the mighty consequences which would result from his journey. Everyone at Port Jackson was struck with the handsome presence and dignified manners of the New Zealander. He was received by the governor into his house at ; he went regularly to church, where he behaved "with great decorum;" and loved nothing so much as to talk to the chaplain about the white man's God. His enquiries met with ready sympathy, for the chaplain was no other than the Reverend Samuel Marsden.
This remarkable man had hitherto found little to encourage him in his labours, but his light shone all the more brightly from its contrast with the surrounding darkness. Selected while still a student at Cambridge, by no less a person than the philanthropist Wilberforce, for this difficult position, Marsden had brought to his work a heart full of evangelical fervour, a strong Yorkshire brain, and "the clearest head in Australia." During the eleven years which had passed since his arrival, he had been fighting a courageous fight against vice in high places and in low, but nothing had daunted his spirit nor soured his temper. His large heart had a place for all classes and for all races. When he met Te Pahi his sympathies were at once excited. Like Gregory in the marketplace at Rome, he had found a people who must be brought into the fold of Christ. Years were indeed to pass before active steps could be taken, but the new-born project never died within him. Amidst all the difficulties of his lot the thought of the New Zealanders was ever in his mind, and their evangelisation the constant subject of his prayers. Many years afterwards, on one of his journeys through their country, Marsden remarked to those about him, "Te Pahi just planted the acorn, but died before the sturdy oak appeared above the surface of the ground."
What this Maori pioneer had done may seem little enough, but that little cost him his life. The presents which he carried home, and the house built for him by Governor King upon his island, excited the envy of his neighbours, who eventually found a way to compass his destruction by means of the Europeans themselves. Te Pahi happened to be at Whangaroa when the Boyd was captured in 1809, and he did his best to save some of the crew from the terrible slaughter that followed. But his presence at the scene was enough to give a handle to his enemies. They accused him to the whalers of participation in the outrage, and these stormed the island pa by night and slaughtered the unsuspecting inhabitants. Te Pahi himself escaped with a wound, but he was soon afterwards killed by the real authors of the Boyd massacre for his known sympathy with the Europeans.
It is a piteous story, and one that reflects only too faithfully the temper of the times. Hardly less piteous is the history of his young kinsman, Ruatara, the inheritor of his influence over the tribe. This notable man, while still young, determined that he too would see the world, and in the year 1805 engaged himself as a common sailor on board a whaling vessel. The roving life suited his adventurous temperament, and in spite of many hardships and much foul play he served in one ship after another. His duties carried him more than once to Port Jackson, where he, too, met Samuel Marsden and talked about the projected mission to his race. After many vicissitudes he at length nearly attained the object of his desire, for his ship reached the Thames and cast anchor below London Bridge. Now he would see the king, and would learn the secret of England's power.
But the London of those days was a cruel place. There were no kindly chaplains, no sailors' institutes nor waterside missions for the care of those who thronged its waterways. There was little care for the poor anywhere, and little religion among employers or employed. The close of the eighteenth century was indeed the low-water mark of English religion and morality. But by 1809—the year of Ruatara's arrival—an improvement had begun. What is known as the Evangelical movement was changing the tone of life and thought. The excesses of the French Revolution had led to a reaction among the upper classes and made them think more seriously. This revival did not at once lead to much thought for the poor at home; it reached out rather towards the heathen abroad. The "Romantic" school was in the ascendant, and a black skin under a palm-tree formed a picture which appealed to the awakened conscience. Much of the fervour of the time had its being outside the historic Church of England, but in the last year of the old century a few earnest clergy and laity—without much encouragement from the bishops or others in high places—had formed what was afterwards known as "The Church Missionary Society." This Society had the New Zealanders under its consideration at the very time when Ruatara was being starved and beaten in the docks of London itself.
What had drawn its attention to a place so distant? It was the presence of Marsden in England. He had come thither in 1807 on business of grave and various import. The Government of the day had recognised the value of his practical knowledge, and had sought his advice on many matters concerning the welfare of Australia. But he did not forget New Zealand, and it was to the young Church Missionary Society that he betook himself. So great, in fact, and so various were the plans which Marsden entertained for the welfare of the many races in which he was interested, that the grandiloquent words of his biographer seem not too strong: "As the obscure chaplain from Botany Bay paced the Strand, from the Colonial Office at Whitehall to the chambers in the city where a few pious men were laying plans for Christian missions in the southern hemisphere, he was in fact charged with projects upon which not only the civilisation, but the eternal welfare, of future nations were suspended."
Marsden's proposals were the outcome of his own original mind. He appealed for a mission to the Maoris, but he wished it to be an industrial mission. He proposed that artisans should be sent out who should prepare the way for ordained clergy. A carpenter, a smith, and a twine-spinner should form the missionary staff. They must be men of sound piety and lively interest in the spiritual welfare of the heathen; but their religious lessons should be given whilst they were instructing the Maoris in the building of a house, the forging of a bolt, or the spinning of their native flax.
Such a scheme was only half relished by the Committee of the Society. These excellent men had hardly yet realised that the dark-skinned savage was a real human being. They had begun by picturing the whole population of a heathen island as rushing gladly to meet the missionary, receiving his message with unquestioning belief, and crying out in an agony of terror, "What must we do to be saved?" Now that apparent failure had met their efforts in different parts of the world, they were inclined to go to the opposite extreme and to despair of the heathen ever accepting Christianity at all. Marsden's unromantic proposals jarred upon their old ideas, but in their perplexity they could not help feeling that at least here was a man who had had experience of real, not of imaginary, heathen; a man who did not despair, and who had a definite and carefully prepared plan. Gradually they yielded to his influence, and, especially as clerical missionaries were not to be found, they agreed to seek for the artisans.
Even these were hard enough to find. There were as yet no colleges for the training of young aspirants; outside the newly-formed societies there was little interest in the welfare of heathen people; the best that could be done was to seek for men who had the love of God and men in their hearts, and should seem to possess the qualities of patience, perseverance, and tact. Through the good offices of friendly clergy two young men were found. From distant Carlisle came the carpenter, William Hall; the Midlands supplied a shoemaker, John King. These were given further technical training—Hall in shipbuilding, King in rope-making. By the month of August, 1809, they were ready for their enterprise. Their earthly prospects were not tempting. They were to receive £20 each per annum until they should be able to grow corn enough for their own support. To meet this and all other expenses the Committee advanced Marsden the sum of £100. With this small sum and his two plain and poorly paid mechanics, this undaunted man started out from his native land to undertake the evangelisation of a country as large as England itself.
But a mightier coadjutor was at hand. Many prayers were offered as the Ann was about to sail, and it must surely have been in answer to these that, when the vessel with her freight of convicts had already reached Gravesend, there appeared a boat in which were a half-naked Maori together with a seafaring Englishman. These were Ruatara and his employer who had robbed him of his wages and had now no further use for him. "Will you take him back to Australia?" said the heartless master. "Not unless you find him some clothes," said the captain of the Ann. The clothes were procured, and the Maori was allowed to go below. There he lay sick in body and mind. He had tried to play the part of the Russian Peter, but he was bringing back nothing for the benefit of his country. What was left but to die?
When the ship reached Portsmouth, Marsden came on board, and on August 25th she finally started on her six months' voyage. Not for some days did the chaplain know of the Maori's presence, but, as the ship entered warmer latitudes, Marsden observed on the forecastle among the sailors a man whose dark skin and forlorn condition appealed strongly to his sympathy. Ruatara was wrapped in an old great coat, racked with a violent cough, and was bleeding from the lungs. Though young, he seemed to have but a few days to live. Marsden at once went to him and found in the miserable stranger the nephew of his old acquaintance Te Pahi. Kindness and attention soon had their effect; the health of the invalid rapidly improved; the remembrance of past injuries melted away before the sunshine of Christian love; and, before the ship reached Australia, Ruatara was once again a man, and now almost a Christian.
This meeting was momentous in its results. "Mr. Marsden and Ruatara," as Carleton says, "were each necessary to the other; each furnished means without which the labour of his associate must have been thrown away. But for the determined support which Ruatara as a high chief was able to afford, Marsden could never have gained a footing in the land; and without the sustained labour of the civilised European, the work of the Maori innovator, too much in advance of its time, would have withered like Jonah's gourd, and have come to an end with the premature decease of Ruatara."
For a few days after the arrival of the Ann at Port Jackson, it seemed as though Marsden's project were going to be helped by another unexpected agency. The Sydney merchants had resolved to form a trading settlement in New Zealand; the settlers were chosen, and the ship was ready to sail. But at the last moment news came from the land of their destination of an event already referred to—news which for many a long day checked every thought of adventure thither, and had the effect of throwing New Zealand back into its old position of isolation and aloofness. The ship Boyd, which had sailed from Sydney not many months previously, had been surprised by the Maoris in the harbour of Whangaroa, and with four exceptions all its white crew, to the number of about 70 persons, had been killed and cooked and eaten.
The report of this awful tragedy—the most horrible that has ever been enacted on our shores, at least with white folk for the victims—threw the people of New South Wales into a fever heat of indignation. This condition was further intensified when the intelligence arrived that among the murderers had been seen the "worthy and respectable" Te Pahi, who had been an honoured guest at the Governor's table. No Maori dared now to be seen in the streets of Sydney, and it required all Marsden's influence to protect Ruatara, who was known to be Te Pahi's relative. His protector kept him for six months quietly working with a few other Maoris on his farm at Parramatta, and the expedition to New Zealand was for the time abandoned.
This sudden interruption of his favourite project was a severe trial to Marsden's hopeful temperament. But he never lost heart. "We have not heard the natives' side of the case," he said. As for Te Pahi, he refused, and rightly refused, to believe in his guilt. When the passion for vengeance had somewhat calmed, he found opportunity to ship Ruatara and some other Maoris on board a whaling craft which was on her way to fish on the New Zealand shores, and he gave them seed wheat and agricultural tools.
Even now Ruatara's adventures were not ended. In the following year he was again at Port Jackson with another tale of woe. He had never reached his home, though he had actually been within sight of it. Instead of being allowed to land there, he had been carried away by the unprincipled captain, robbed again of his wages, and then marooned on Norfolk Island. Again he found a friend in Marsden. Once more he was despatched to the Bay of Islands with wheat and hoes and spades. This time he arrived safely, and Marsden had the satisfaction of feeling that however long the time of waiting might still be, there was a quiet but effective influence at work in New Zealand on behalf of himself and of the message which he still hoped to proclaim.
At any time, in fact, during those years of suspense, Marsden was willing to venture forth among the cannibals, but he was forbidden by Governor Macquarie. That all-powerful functionary was determined that such a valuable life should not be thrown away on what appeared to be a quixotic scheme. But the chaplain was not to be altogether balked. He received into his parsonage whatever Maoris of good standing he could find; showed them the varied activities of his model farm; and explained to them the principles of the laws which he was called to administer from the magisterial bench. In this way several young chiefs acquired a knowledge of the elements of civilisation, and were disposed to welcome Christianity.
But it was not only upon his Maori visitors that Marsden's influence was at work. The two artisans whom he kept near himself must have learned during these years that absolute loyalty upon which so much was to depend thereafter. They laboured diligently at their trades, and each was soon earning as much as £400 a year; but the zeal and unselfishness of the chaplain kept them true to their original purpose, and prevented them from yielding to the fascinations of Mammon.
Thus the years passed—not uselessly nor unhopefully. One bit of intelligence seemed like an augury of good for the future: Ruatara's wheat had been sown and was growing well!
The fourth year of waiting brought signs of approaching change. The Society at home, encouraged by Marsden's hopeful letters, sent out another catechist, Thomas Kendall. They were less sure of him than of King and Hall, but he pleaded earnestly to be sent, and, being a schoolmaster, he was a man of more education than the two others. During the last days of the year 1813, Marsden organised an influential meeting in Sydney, and succeeded in carrying fifteen resolutions in favour of a forward movement. Armed with these he again approached the Governor, who reluctantly consented to allow the missionaries to make a trial visit to New Zealand if a captain could be found sufficiently courageous to take them. The shipping problem was indeed a great difficulty, but Marsden at last overcame it by buying a vessel with money which he raised on the security of his farm. The Active was a brig of 110 tons, and claims the honour of being the first missionary craft of modern times.
Hall and Kendall were the men chosen for the preliminary visit. They were instructed to open up communication with Ruatara, and, if possible, to bring him back with them to Sydney. With good supply of articles for trade and for presents they set sail on the 4th of March, and arrived safely at the Bay of Islands. Here they were welcomed by the faithful Ruatara, to whom they presented a small hand-mill as a gift from his friend at Parramatta. This machine played its part in preparing the way for the mission. Ruatara's wheat had long been harvested, but his neighbours were still sceptical as to the possibility of converting it into bread. While this doubt remained, Ruatara's words carried little weight. In vain did the poor Maori try one expedient after another; in vain did he send appeals to Marsden. His own efforts always failed; his benefactor's gifts never reached him. But now the situation was changed. The mill was at once charged with New Zealand grown wheat; eager eyes watched the mealy stream issuing from beneath; a cake was quickly made and cooked; and all incredulity was at an end. Several chiefs volunteered to accompany Ruatara to Sydney, and the Active reached that port on August 22nd, after a thoroughly successful voyage.
The Governor could no longer withhold his consent to the enterprise, and Marsden was granted leave of absence for four months from his duties at Parramatta.
Before starting for New Zealand he spent three busy months in preparation. The mission was to take the form of a "settlement," and the missionaries were to be "settlers" as well as catechists. The Active was loaded with all that was necessary for this object, and in the words of Mr. Nicholas, who accompanied the expedition as a friend, it "bore a perfect resemblance to Noah's Ark." The resemblance was indeed a close one. The vessel carried horses and cattle, sheep and pigs, goats and poultry; Maori chiefs and convict servants; the three missionaries with their wives and children; while the place of the patriarch was filled by Samuel Marsden himself, who, like Noah, had been "warned of God of things not seen as yet," had laboured on amidst the incredulity of his neighbours, and now bore with him the seeds of a new world. Stormy weather delayed the progress of the brig and brought much misery to those on board. Three weeks passed before the New Zealand coast was sighted, but Saturday, December 17th, brought the travellers opposite to Tasman's "Three Kings," and on the following Tuesday they were off the harbour of Whangaroa, where the remains of the Boyd still lay. The brig did not enter this dreaded haven, but, seeing an armed force on the coast to the south, Marsden resolved to land and to attempt to conciliate these hostile people. Ruatara and Hongi acted as intermediaries, and friendly relations were soon established between the missionaries and the cannibals. Marsden and his companion even spent the night with the savages, sleeping among them without fear under the starlit sky.
Two days later the expedition reached its destination, and the Active cast anchor off the Bay of Rangihoua. From her deck the mission families could now gaze upon the scene of their future home. The bracken and manuka with which the farther slopes were clad might remind them of the fern and heather of old England, but their gaze would be chiefly attracted to an isolated hill of no great height which rose steeply from the sea on the left side of the little bay. To this hill had come the remnant of Te Pahi's people after the slaughter on the island, and it was now crowned with a strongly fortified pa. Ruatara's residence was on the highest point; around it were crowded about fifty other dwellings; outside the mighty palisade neat plantations of potatoes and kumaras seemed to hang down the steep declivity; an outer rampart encircled the whole. At sight of the vessel the inhabitants rushed down to the beach with cries of welcome, and greeted Marsden, on his landing, with affectionate regard. He seemed to be no stranger among them, for his name and his fame were familiar to all. The horses and cows caused a temporary panic among people who had never seen animals so large before, but fear soon gave way to admiration and a general sense of excited expectancy.
Ruatara's home-coming was not free from pain to himself. Misconduct had occurred in his household during his absence, and the next morning was occupied with a trial for adultery. The case was referred to Marsden, who advised the application of the lash to the male offender. Thirty strokes were given, and the honour of the chief was vindicated. Next morning (Saturday) he treated his guests to a scene of mimic warfare. Led by himself and Korokoro, four hundred warriors in all the pomp of paint and feathers rehearsed the details of a naval engagement. The brandished spears and blood-curdling yells brought forcibly to the imagination of the white men the perils which might be in store for them, but as the day wore on the arts of war were succeeded by preparations for the preaching of the Gospel of peace. Ruatara caused about half an acre of land by the Oihi beach to be fenced in; within this area he improvised some rough seats with planks and an upturned boat; in a convenient spot he erected a reading desk and pulpit which he draped with black native cloth, and with white duck which he had brought from Sydney; on the top of the hill he reared a flagstaff; and thus prepared his church for the coming festival.
The account of that Christmas Day of 1814 must be given in Marsden's own words, which have already attained a classical celebrity:
"On Sunday morning when I was upon deck, I saw the English flag flying, which was a pleasing sight in New Zealand. I considered it as the signal and the dawn of civilisation, liberty, and religion in a benighted land. I never viewed the British colours with more gratification, and flattered myself they would never be removed till the natives of that island enjoyed all the happiness of British subjects.
"About ten o'clock we prepared to go ashore, to publish for the first time the glad tidings of the Gospel. I was under no apprehensions for the safety of the vessel, and therefore ordered all on board to go on shore to attend divine service, except the master and one man. When we landed we found Korokoro, Ruatara, and Hongi dressed in regimentals which Governor Macquarie had given them, with their men drawn up ready to be marched into the enclosure to attend divine service. They had swords by their sides, and switches in their hands. We entered the enclosure, and were placed on the seats on each side of the pulpit. Korokoro marched his men and placed them on my right hand, in the rear of the Europeans; and Ruatara placed his men on the left. The inhabitants of the town, with the women and children and a number of other chiefs, formed a circle round the whole. A very solemn silence prevailed: the sight was truly impressive. I rose up and began the service with singing the Old Hundredth Psalm, and felt my very soul melt within me when I viewed my congregation and considered the state they were in. After reading the service, during which the natives stood up and sat down at the signals given by Korokoro's switch, which was regulated by the movements of the Europeans, it being Christmas Day, I preached from the second chapter of St. Luke's Gospel, and tenth verse, 'Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy,' etc. The natives told Ruatara that they could not understand what I meant. He replied that they were not to mind that now, for they would understand by and by, and that he would explain my meaning as far as he could. When I had done preaching, he informed them what I had been talking about. Ruatara was very much pleased that he had been able to make all necessary preparations for the performance of divine worship in so short a time, and we felt much obliged to him for his attention. He was extremely anxious to convince us that he would do everything in his power, and that the good of his country was his principal consideration. In this manner the Gospel has been introduced into New Zealand, and I fervently pray that the glory of it may never depart from its inhabitants till time shall be no more."
For the moment it seemed as though Marsden's congregation had not been very deeply impressed. Three or four hundred natives (says Nicholas) began a furious war-dance, apparently to express gratitude and appreciation. With conflicting feelings the missionaries at length withdrew to their ship, and there, in the evening, Marsden "administered the Holy Sacrament in remembrance of our Saviour's birth and what He had done and suffered for us."
What would be the reflections of this far-sighted man as he lay in his berth that summer night? Fresh from the scene of the Boyd tragedy, and in the very presence of Te Pahi's desolated citadel, he had ventured to take up the angels' song of peace on earth, goodwill to men. He might perhaps have drawn some hope from the peace which the world at large was then enjoying after years of desperate strife. Napoleon was a prisoner in Elba, and the dogs of war were chained. But a few more months would bring another outburst and the awful carnage of Waterloo. So would it be in New Zealand also, and its Napoleon was a small quiet man who stood listening thoughtfully on that Christmas Day to Marsden's message of peace.
The planting of the settlement occupied the next fortnight. By the second Sunday in the new year a large building was sufficiently advanced to serve as a church. In a few days more this was divided into separate apartments for the residence of the mission families.
Marsden was now at liberty to think of certain subordinate objects of his visit—exploration and trade. In obedience to the Governor's instructions, he took his brig on an exploring tour down the Hauraki Gulf. On his return he had the vessel loaded with timber and flax for conveyance to New South Wales. The expedition had, of course, been an expensive matter, and it must be remembered that he had strained his own private resources to provide means for its equipment. He had all along looked to recoup himself for some of his outlay by a trade in logs and spars. By the middle of February the vessel had received her cargo, the missionaries were settling down in their new home, and his leave of absence was nearing its expiration. But before he set sail two duties claimed his attention. A child had been born to Mr. and Mrs. King, and Marsden determined to make the first administration of Holy Baptism in this heathen land as impressive as possible. The infant was brought out into the open air. Many of the Maoris as well as the white folk stood around while the little one was solemnly admitted into the congregation of Christ's flock.
The other duty was less pleasant, and called for all the missionary's skill and resource. Poor Ruatara had fallen ill in the hour of his triumph—a victim, it would seem, to his admiration for the white man's ways. At the service on Sunday, February 12th, he had been present in European clothes, which had set off to advantage his manly form and European-like features. The day was rainy, and probably he had gone home in his wet clothes and thus contracted pneumonia. On the next day he was suffering from a chill and fever which defied the kindly attentions of Nicholas, who visited him daily until the tohunga forbad his admission. When Marsden returned from his trading enterprise he could only force an entrance by threatening to bombard the town with the ship's guns. The invalid seemed grateful for his visit and rallied for a little time, but as soon as Marsden sailed for Australia he grew rapidly worse. On the third day he was carried from his home and deposited on the top of a bare hill to await his end. Ruatara has been often compared with the Russian Peter, and like him he had purposed to build a new town in which he could carry out the ideas he had gained abroad. It was to the site of this projected metropolis that he was now borne, and it was there that, after death, his body was laid on a stage erected for the purpose. To complete the tragedy the same stage received the remains of his favourite wife, who hung herself out of grief at her loss.
In spite of this noble Maori's enlightened efforts for the civilisation of his countrymen, his mind seems to have been not wholly without misgiving as to the possible consequences of his policy. He could not altogether throw off the suggestions of the reactionary party, that the coming of the white man would eventually lead to the slavery and dispossession of the Maori. Could he look down from his lofty eminence now that a century has passed, what would be his thoughts? He would see his countrymen still residing on their own lands, their children carefully taught, their houses fitted with mechanical appliances which would have surprised even Marsden himself. But, on the other hand, the crowded pas and the vigorous life have passed away. Instead of the long canoe with its stalwart tatooed rowers, he would see perhaps a small motor-boat with one half-caste engineer. As for his "town of Rangihoo," he would see no trace of its existence. Maori dwellings, mission-station—all are gone. Nothing now remains to show that man has ever occupied the spot, save the rose-covered graves of one or two of the original "settlers," and the lofty stone cross which marks the place where Christ was first preached on New Zealand soil.
He that soweth discord among brethren.
The position of the missionaries when left alone at Rangihoua was not an easy one. Ruatara was dead, and there was no one to fill his place. His successor at Rangihoua, though friendly and genial, seems to have had but little influence. Korokoro cared for nothing but war. The real ruler was Ruatara's uncle, Hongi, who lived some miles away; and Hongi's character had yet to disclose itself. His behaviour was quiet and gentlemanly; he assured the missionaries of his protection, and he kept his word.
This protection, however, was subject to limitations. The settlers were naturally anxious to grow corn and vegetables, but the cold clay of Te Puna was not a favourable soil. At the very beginning some of them had pleaded for a more fertile spot, but their sagacious leader had set his veto on the proposal. Not many months, however, after Marsden's departure, Kendall and Hall crossed the Bay to a sunny spot at the mouth of the Waitangi River. Here they bought 50 acres of fertile land, and thither Hall transferred his family. He soon saw around him a prolific growth of maize and vegetables, but just as he was congratulating himself on the wisdom of the move, a scene occurred which quickly altered his views. He was felled to the ground by a savage visitor who brandished an axe over his head, and he struggled to his feet only to behold his wife's countenance suffused with blood from a smashing blow dealt her by another ruffian. His furniture and tools were carried off, and the poor missionary was glad to return to his colleagues, and to share the protection of the tapu which Ruatara had placed upon their settlement. Barren as Te Puna might be, it was a safe refuge, and so long as the missionaries stayed there they suffered nothing worse from the natives than a little pilfering and an occasional threat.
Their real troubles arose within their own circle. The settlement (including children) consisted of twenty-five people, and it was organised by Marsden on what may be called a communistic basis. His original plan had been for each settler to be allowed to trade with the Maoris on his own account, and for this purpose he had given them a stock of goods before leaving Sydney. This concession was intended to compensate those who, like King and Hall, had given up large incomes on leaving New South Wales. But a very short experience convinced Marsden that such traffic was open to grave objections. With characteristic promptitude he remodelled his scheme. Calling the settlers together, he told them that he could allow no private trade whatever. All traffic with the natives was to be carried on by the whole community, and the profits were to go towards defraying the expenses of the mission. Rations of food and other necessaries would be served out to the mission families, and each settler would receive a small percentage on whatever profit might accrue from the trading voyages of the brig.
These terms were not accepted without protest, but such was the weight of Marsden's authority that they were at length adopted by all. The scheme is interesting as foreshadowing the communism of Selwyn, and as being the earliest example of socialism in white New Zealand. But all such experiments need the constant presence of the inspiring mind, and this is just what the Te Puna community lacked. Marsden did not return for more than four years, and in the meantime the settlers were left with no head whatever. Kendall was the cleverest of the group, and his ambitious spirit chafed at the restrictions imposed by his distant superior. He bore a commission of the Peace from the Governor of New South Wales, but his magisterial powers were mostly exercised on runaway sailors. In the mission his vote counted for no more than the vote of King or of Hall.
For a time, indeed, the experiment promised well. Hall spoke in later years of the "zeal, warmth, and sanguinity" with which they began their work. Kendall was successful with the school, in which a son of the noble Te Pahi acted as an assistant. One or two new settlers arrived from Australia, and glowing reports reached the Committee in London.
But evil was at work. As early as 1816, Kendall was sending to Marsden grave accusations against his colleagues. His letters were plausible and carried weight. Quarrels arose between him and Hall, who was so wearied with the "difficulties, discouragements, and insults" of his life that he wished to retire from his post. The rules of the community were not kept; the forbidden trade in firearms was not altogether avoided; the early fervour cooled, and little mission work was done.
Marsden grieved over this sad declension, yet could not at once apply a remedy. But in the early months of 1819 he had staying at his parsonage a singularly devoted Methodist preacher whose health had broken down. The chaplain suggested to his guest that he should try the effect of a voyage to New Zealand, and should investigate the state of the Mission there. Like a mediæval bishop, Marsden called in the assistance of a preaching order to infuse new life into his failing "seculars." The boldness of the plan was justified by the result. Mr. Leigh tactfully mediated between the separated brethren; by prayer and exhortation he rekindled their flagging zeal; and, Methodist-like, he drew up a "plan" for their future operations. Soon after his departure King and Kendall went on a missionary tour to Hokianga on the western coast; Hall boated along the eastern coast, and preached as far as Whangaruru.
On the reception of Leigh's report, Marsden wrote a hopeful letter to London. "The place," he said, "will now be changed, and I trust we shall be able to lay down such rules and keep those who are employed in the work to their proper duty, so as to prevent the existence of any great differences among them." But he himself must initiate the changes, and by August of that same year (1819) he was again at the Bay of Islands. The meeting between himself and his catechists was marked by satisfaction on both sides. Kendall and King could report hopefully of their recent reception on the Hokianga River, which they were the first white men to see; Hall could relate how he had found and forgiven the people who had assaulted him at Waitangi, and how prosperous had been his tour until he reached a pa where the demand for iron was so great that the inhabitants stole the rudder-hangings of his boat, and left the poor missionary to find his way back as best he might in stormy weather to the shelter of Rangihoua. Marsden, on his part, could introduce a party of new helpers whom he had brought from Sydney—the Rev. John Butler and his wife, Francis Hall, a schoolmaster, and James Kemp, a smith.
New plans were at once formed for an extension of the work. An offer from Hongi of a site opposite to his own pa was accepted, and Marsden bought for four dozen axes a large piece of ground on the Kerikeri River, at the extreme north-west of the Bay. Here, in a sheltered vale and amid the sound of waterfalls, the new mission station was established. To it the fresh workers were assigned, Butler taking the chief place. Marsden himself pushed on across the island to the mouth of the Hokianga, and on his return was surprised to see much of the new ground broken up, maize growing upon it, and vines in leaf.
Agriculture formed indeed an important feature in Marsden's plans for the mission. Seeing Hongi's blind wife working hard in a potato field, he was much affected by the miserable condition of many of the Maoris: "Their temporal situation must be improved by agriculture and the simple arts, in order to lay a permanent foundation for the introduction of Christianity." No spiritual results were as yet visible, but the chiefs attended Marsden's services and "behaved with great decorum." On the evening of September 5 he administered the Holy Communion to the settlers at Rangihoua. The service was held in a "shed," but "the solemnity of the occasion did not fail to excite in our breasts sensations and feelings corresponding with the peculiar situation in which we were. We had retrospect to the period when this holy ordinance was first instituted in Jerusalem in the presence of our Lord's disciples, and adverted to the peculiar circumstances under which it was now administered at the very ends of the earth."
In spite of the more promising appearances, however, Marsden seems to have realised that the missionaries must never be left so long again unvisited. In little more than three months he was again in New Zealand. There had been no difficulty about leave of absence this time, for the Admiralty needed kauri timber, and was glad to avail itself of his influence with the Maoris, and his knowledge of their ways. Marsden made the most of this unlooked for opportunity, and stayed nine months in the country. Of all his visits this was the longest and the most full of arduous effort, but its results were almost nullified by subsequent events. For it happened that on his arrival at Te Puna he found another enterprise in contemplation—one which would leave its mark upon history, and make the year memorable with an evil memory in the annals of New Zealand. This was the journey of and Hongi to England. To understand the course of events and to appreciate its fell significance, it is necessary to keep in mind both what the Englishman was doing in New Zealand, and what the New Zealander was doing in England, during those same months of the year 1820. They will meet again next year in the parsonage of Parramatta, and then the results of their separate courses will begin to show themselves.
Hongi, though less definitely favourable to the mission than had been his nephew Ruatara, had hitherto always stood its friend. On Marsden's last visit he had indeed disbanded a large army at his request, and had seemed ready to relinquish his design of obtaining utu for the blood of several Ngapuhi chiefs who had been lately slain in battle. But the obtaining of utu was almost the main object of the heathen Maori. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, blood for blood and death for death—this was his creed. If the blood of the murderer could not be had, then someone else's blood must be shed—someone, too, of equal rank and dignity. Hongi could not bring himself to accept the new message of peace, and his dissatisfaction was, it would seem, fanned by Kendall, who had ambitions of his own to serve. The other settlers, fearing to lose the protection of Hongi's restraining hand, did their utmost to dissuade him from taking the journey, but in vain. "I shall die," said the chief, "if I do not go."
Four days accordingly after Marsden's arrival the two set sail, having with them Waikato, another chief of the same tribe. The story of their visit to England is to a large extent familiar. They were received with great interest at the Missionary House, but the authorities treated Hongi as a heathen soul to be saved, and this was not what he wanted. Together they went to Cambridge, and here Kendall found scope for his abilities in furnishing to Professor Lee the materials for a scientific orthography of the Maori language. He stayed on at Cambridge to prepare for Holy Orders, which the Society had agreed that he should receive. The chiefs meanwhile were entertained at the houses of nobles and prelates in different parts of the country, and at length were presented to King George IV. "How do you do, Mr. King George?" said the gentlemanly Hongi. "How do you do, Mr. King Hongi?" replied that easy monarch. This was the kind of reception that the Maori appreciated, and with the craft of his race he immediately seized his advantage. "You have ships and guns in plenty," said he to the King; "have you said that the New Zealanders are not to have any?" "Certainly not," replied His Majesty, and gave him a suit of armour from the Tower. Hongi's object was now attained. In spite of the missionaries he would have his guns, and he would be a king.
This determination was not shaken by the Christianity which came under the notice of the chiefs. At Norwich Cathedral they were given a seat in the episcopal pew close to the altar, on the occasion of Kendall's ordination. Hongi was chiefly impressed by the bishop's wig, which he thought must be emblematic of wisdom. His conclusion was that the Church was a very venerable institution and a necessary part of the English State, but it did not seem to follow very consistently the doctrines which he had heard proclaimed by the missionaries. Its official representatives seemed to be on good terms with the world: why should he be better than they? Like the king and great people of England he would uphold the Church and—go his own way.
Marsden meanwhile had been working hard in the opposite direction. On landing in February, 1820, he found that some of the missionaries had been using muskets and powder as articles of barter. It was very hard to avoid doing so, for the Maoris were no longer satisfied with hoes and axes. Guns were becoming necessary to self-defence in New Zealand, and guns they would have. Marsden took a firm stand and informed the chiefs that if there were any more trading for firearms the mission would be withdrawn. The Maoris were far too keenly alive to the advantages of European settlement not to be alarmed at this threat. They agreed to deal with the settlers by means of peaceful articles of commerce.
Marsden now began a wonderful series of journeys. His obligation to the timber-cutters led him far up the Thames Valley, but he soon went on by himself and reached Tauranga, where he found memories of Captain Cook. Returning to his ship in the Thames estuary, he made more than one expedition to Kaipara and the more northern parts of the island, including places where no white man had hitherto been seen. In these journeys the Mokoia pa, which stood on the site of the present village of Panmure, near Auckland, became a kind of pivot of his operations. Its chief, Hinaki, was particularly friendly, and in him Marsden hoped to find a second Ruatara, and in his village a basis for mission work further south. In fact, all the people of this district seemed more accessible to the appeal of religion than were those of the Bay of Islands. From June to November the devoted missionary passed up and down the waterways which encompass the present city of Auckland, as well as overland to Hokianga and Whangaroa, preaching in the numerous villages the simple truth of the one living and true GOD. After one of his journeys he writes: "I had now been twenty days from the ship, during which time I had slept in my clothes, generally in the open air or in a boat or canoe. A great part of the time the weather had been very wet and stormy. I had crossed many swamps, creeks, and rivers, from the Bay of Plenty on the eastern side to Kaipara on the western coast; yet, through the kind providence of God, I met with no accident or unpleasant circumstances, but, on the contrary, had been highly gratified, and returned to the ship in perfect health."
Marsden's labours were indeed so great and so many-sided as to compel the most sincere admiration. At one time he seems wholly given up to trade, and on his first visit the Maoris were astonished to see him busy with the aristocratic Nicholas in salting barrels of fish for export to Sydney. At another time he is the adventurous explorer bearing cheerfully the extremes of hot and cold, of wet and dry. Yet again he is the sagacious counsellor and the resolute leader of men; and with it all he is the warm-hearted Christian who can stay in the midst of his labours to indite a letter to England, full of spiritual force and sweetness. Wherever he passes he finds his God a very present help; he lies down at night in the wet grass with feelings of adoring wonder at the mysteries of redemption, and before his closing eyes there rises the vision of the Cross of Jesus.
At his departure in December, Marsden left behind him a peaceful community and an apparently prosperous mission. Butler had during the year put into the ground the first plough ever used in New Zealand. The Maoris were quiet, and the missionaries went to their beds at night without any sense of insecurity. Four of the newly visited chiefs from the Thames district followed Marsden at a short interval to Australia, and stayed with him in his parsonage at . Among these was Hinaki of Mokoia, who wished to continue his journey to England. They were still in the house when, in the following May, Hongi and Kendall arrived on their return journey. It was the month of the death of the great Napoleon at St. Helena, and it would almost seem as though a portion of his spirit had passed into the Maori chief on his passage through the Atlantic. At any rate Hongi began now to disclose his purposes: "Do not go to England," he said to Hinaki at Marsden's table; "you will surely be ill there. Better go home and see to your defences. I shall come to visit you before long." All the presents which the great people in England had showered upon him (excepting, of course, the suit of armour) he now bartered for muskets and powder. A legend of his race told how when the Maoris came from Hawaiki they were followed by an invisible canoe in which sat the figure of Death. With more reason might that grim form have been supposed to lurk now in the hold of the ship in which Hongi and Hinaki sailed together to their native land.
They arrived there in the July of 1821, and the missionaries of Kerikeri soon realised that they had a different Hongi to deal with. For a time he held aloof from them, and when he did speak he showed great reserve. Some allowance must of course be made for the inevitable disillusionment of such a return. After the palaces of the bishops by whom he had been entertained in England, the mission stations must have appeared even startlingly humble. But the real grievance was the cessation of the trade in firearms. The King had approved of this trade: why should the missionaries object? Kendall in his new clerical attire seemed quite willing to play the part of court-chaplain to the would-be king. "I would as soon," he said, "trade with a musket as with a dollar."
The effects of the change were seen immediately. The Maoris grew insolent, broke down the settlers' fences, and stole whatever they could lay their hands on. This was, however, as nothing to that which followed. Hongi and Hinaki had become reconciled on the ship, but a new act of aggression soon called for reprisals, and at the head of an immense naval armament Hongi set out for the waters of the Waitemata. Clad in his helmet and coat of mail, he declaimed his wrongs before his enemy's stockade at Mokoia, and was only saved by his armour from sudden death by a treacherous bullet. Hinaki would grant no satisfaction; a general assault took place, and after a desperate contest the pa was taken. Hongi swallowed his rival's eyes, and drank the blood that welled from his throat. The taste of blood seemed to rouse the tiger in his nature, and he proceeded to sweep the country with fire and sword. "Powerful tribes on both sides of the Thames were cut off, and for years the whole country was deserted." The districts which Marsden had visited so hopefully the year before were all reduced to desolation. The people whom he had found so receptive of divine truth were now no longer to be seen: they were either killed, carried into slavery, or driven to the mountains of the interior.
The missionaries were not exposed to this awful carnage, but their position can only be described as terrible. The Mokoia expedition brought back (it was said) no less than 2,000 prisoners. Several of these were slaughtered in cold blood at the very doors of the station at Kerikeri. The Maoris were inflamed with the lust for blood; they gloated over the sufferings of their enemies. They surrounded the mission premises with poles, upon which were stuck the heads of the slain, while the remains of the cooked flesh lay rotting on the ground. The unhappy missionaries could do but little. They rescued a few children from among the prisoners, but for the rest they had to bear as best they might the intolerable humiliation of feeling that they owed their very safety to the protection of Hongi. The Kerikeri settlers were reduced to the further degradation of making cartridge boxes for the troops, while their forge was used for the manufacture of ammunition. How much is contained in these few lines from the schoolmaster's diary: "The natives have been casting balls all day in Mr. Kemp's shop. They come in when they please, and do what they please, and take away what they please, and it is vain to resist them."
Marsden and the Home authorities were powerless to help. Of course Kendall was dismissed. So was another of the settlers. Others left of their own accord, and the Society at Home thought of abandoning the mission. The one bright spot was Rangihoua or Te Puna, where the two original catechists, King and Hall, kept quietly on, thus showing the value of Marsden's training during the years of waiting in Sydney. Their settlement was gradually improving, and at least they kept the flag flying. As for Marsden himself, there was even one more drop of bitterness to be added to his cup. Ever since the beginning of the mission he had kept up a seminary for New Zealanders at Parramatta. The chiefs were eager to send their sons to be educated under his care, and in the beginning of 1820 he had no less than twenty-five in residence. But in the following year a time of mortality set in; several of the young men died, and for a time the seminary was closed.
Marsden had inaugurated the mission in 1814 with the message of peace and goodwill to men. Now, as he thought of the charred villages and whitening bones which marked the face of the country after seven years of Gospel preaching, he must surely have felt bound to take other words as the burden of his cry: "I came not to send peace, but a sword."
THE NEW BEGINNING.
—Legend of Maeldune.
"When I reflect upon the evils which have crept in among the missionaries, I am astonished that the mission has not been completely annihilated. That it should continue to exist under such difficulties affords a proof, in my judgment, that God will still carry on the work." Such was Marsden's reflection in 1823—the year which saw a beginning of better things. Out of the midst of the failure and the shame this man of faith was able to gather hope for the future.
The great need of the mission was a higher class of workers. This need was now to be supplied—in fact, the preparation for its supply had been quietly going on concurrently with the mission itself, though in a different quarter of the globe.
One of the last actions of the great war which was coming to an end when Marsden proclaimed his message of peace in 1814 was the capture of an American frigate in the West Indies. The prize was being towed to a British port when a terrific gale sprang up, and in the midst of the confusion the prisoners attempted to retake the ship. The danger of the situation drove one of the officers to serious thoughts, and on the conclusion of peace he resigned his commission and resolved to enter the service of a higher monarch. For some years he lived quietly in England on his half-pay allowance, but his thoughts were drawn towards New Zealand, a part of the mission field which seemed to offer the greatest peril and the greatest need. The news that the C.M.S. were about to equip a ship for their station in that country seemed to him a call to a post where his nautical skill would be of service. He volunteered to take command of this vessel without pay. His offer could not be accepted, because the project of the ship had already been abandoned, but the Society accepted the lieutenant as one of their missionaries. All arrangements were made for his setting out, when news arrived from the Antipodes that the settlers would probably soon be driven out of the country. This was no time to be sending out fresh workers. But the candidate was not cast down. He studied surgery, and bided his time. The Society was now coming to the conclusion that lay catechists were undesirable, and it ordered the lieutenant to stay for two years longer in England, and to prepare for Holy Orders. He was now a married man, and could not go up to a university, but he studied at home under the direction of a clerical brother-in-law who had first turned his attention to foreign missions. In 1822 he was once more ready, and had received the orders both of deacon and priest when tidings came of Hongi's first raid. The Committee offered to send him to some quieter part of the world, but he earnestly pleaded to be allowed to adhere to his original purpose. Thus it was that Henry Williams reached New Zealand, at the age of thirty-one years, arriving just in time to save the mission and to give it a new beginning.
The character of the man thus providentially trained and guided is a factor of the utmost moment in our history. He brought to the mission just those qualities of leadership and power in which it had hitherto been deficient, and he was joined somewhat later by a brother whose milder and more intellectual nature supplied what was wanting in his own. Drawn from the professional class, the brothers Williams of course stood for a higher culture and a wider knowledge than could be expected of the settlers who were hitherto in the field. These advantages were by no means unappreciated by the Maoris, but the quality which impressed them most immediately was the personal force and dauntless spirit of the elder man. "He is a tangata riri" (i.e., angry man), said a hostile Maori; "he shuts his tent door upon us, and does not sit by our sides and talk; he has the Atua upon his lips, and we are afraid of his anger." He could hold at arm's length two powerful men who were struggling to fly at one another's throats. He soon won the name of "the man with the iron thumb," from the fact that on one occasion, while he held in his hand the key of his study door, he felled to the earth the leader of a gang of bullies who were bent on doing him bodily injury. On another occasion a number of angry natives crowded in upon himself and a companion as they were building a boat. After standing their interference for some time, the builders seized, one a broken oar and the other a stout stake, and after a sharp fray, in which the arm of the carpenter was broken in two places, the intruders were driven from the spot.
Nor was it only the men who felt the power of his arm. A story is told of an encounter with some shameless women who had crossed from Kororareka to taunt his school-girls at Paihia. The missionaries were busy at a translation meeting, and at first sent some peaceful messengers to bid the "ship-girls" depart. The messengers came back discomfited, and the behaviour grew more wanton and defiant. At last, Henry Williams came forth, umbrella in hand and spectacles on nose. The whole school came out to watch the encounter. The leader of the band—a great lady of the place—came on with outstretched tongue and insulting cries, when "old four eyes," as she called him, gave her a sounding thwack with his umbrella. Startled by this indignity she turned and fled. "Duck them," cried the missionary; and before the saucy damsels could regain their canoe they were thoroughly soused in the water, and went back (as the narrator says) wetter, if not better, than they came.
No wonder that "Te Wiremu" soon obtained an ascendancy over a people who idolised physical prowess. But it would be a great mistake to suppose that he brought to the mission nothing more than the authoritative tone of the quarter-deck. His piety was deep and self-sacrificing. It was in order that he might exercise his ministry on shipboard that he had chosen to come out in a female convict ship, where he had been untiring in his attempts to uplift the unhappy creatures with which it was crowded. During his stay at Parramatta he had thrown himself into Marsden's work among the convicts of the other sex. There was sweetness as well as strength in the straight glance of the well-opened eye, and in the fine lines of the compressed lips.
In one respect Williams differed both from Marsden, who preceded, and from Selwyn, who followed him. He was not an idealist; he dreamed no dreams and he saw no visions. He fixed his attention upon the work immediately in front, and to it he gave his undivided energy. The old naval instinct of unquestioning obedience was strong in him to the last. Writing to the C.M.S. before his departure from England, he assured them that he should always regard their orders as rigidly as he ever did those of his senior officer in His Majesty's service. Like the centurion in the Gospels, he regarded himself as a man under authority, and he expected a like obedience from those who were under him.
Marsden himself brought Henry Williams to New Zealand, and decided upon the place of his abode. The chiefs were all anxious for the presence of a missionary because of the commercial advantages which it brought. Marsden was loth to refuse the request of some disconsolate relatives of the slaughtered Hinaki, but he thought it wiser to bestow the favour upon one who had been with him at Parramatta, even though the chief himself was at the moment on the warpath with Hongi. Accordingly, the new missionary was placed at Paihia, a village whose open beach lay opposite to Kororareka, the great resort of European ships, from whose crews the Maoris were acquiring vices and diseases more hideous than their own. Its central situation gave to Paihia great advantages, and it soon became the real focus of the mission.
That the work of the past eight years had not been altogether in vain was proved by the altered demeanour of the Maoris. When the bell rang on Sundays at Paihia, they came along the beach, dressed in European clothes and carrying their books with the utmost propriety. It was only a fashion, but it meant something. At the two older stations some of them could repeat prayers and sing hymns. At Marsden's departure his ship struck on the rocks while working out of the Bay, but the natives of the island of Moturoa treated the shipwrecked passengers with kindness, and forebore to plunder their goods.
This was not much, but it carried hope for the future. The real hope, however, lay in the change of workers and the change of methods. At the time of the wreck, Marsden had with him several of the older settlers whose connection with the mission was now dissolved. In their places new names gradually appear. Fairburn came with Henry Williams in 1823; Clarke and Davis followed in the next year. Hamlin accompanied the Rev. W. Williams in 1826. In 1828 came two clergymen—Yate and Brown—besides a lay catechist, Baker. Chapman arrived in 1830, Preece in 1831, Matthews in 1832. Puckey and Shepherd had in the meantime come from Australia. King and Hall were left at Rangihoua, but the latter was compelled by an asthmatic affection to leave New Zealand in 1824, and for a time helped Marsden in his work among the Maori youths at Parramatta.
It is evident from the above list that the "settlement" policy still held its ground. And indeed settlers of the right type were urgently needed. As Mr. Saunders points out, the mission had suffered greatly through the lack of a skilled agriculturist. The first catechists were town artisans, and so were most of those that followed. They had tried hard to grow wheat, and not altogether without success. But on the whole the settlements had failed to support themselves. After the establishment of Kerikeri, Marsden had refused to send more flour from Sydney. He himself had been so successful with his farm that he expected others to do the same. If they would not work, he said, neither should they eat. But he could command the labour of convicts to do the work: this the New Zealand missionaries could not do. For long they had only hoes and spades; the Maoris would not help them; the soil and the climate were unfavourable. Some improvement there was when in 1824 Richard Davis, a Dorsetshire farmer, joined the staff. But even he was beaten again and again in his attempts at wheat-growing. It was not until 1830, when a move was made from the mangrove-lined shores of the Bay to the higher and more English country twelve miles inland at Waimate, that farming operations really began to succeed: then they prospered in marvellous fashion.
On the whole, the "settlement" scheme was a failure. It was too high for average human nature. The drastic regulations which Marsden left behind him in 1823—regulations which forbad even the slightest transaction between individual settlers and the trading ships—were tantamount to a confession of a breakdown of the system. As for Henry Williams, he determined on a change almost from the first. He would not try to raise produce at Paihia. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, he said. For years he left himself without anything that could be called a house, but he must have a church at once, and not only a church, but an organ. The church was soon built, and a pipe organ, which delighted his Welsh ears, was sent out by some of his friends at home. For the first two years he devoted much of his time and money to the building of a vessel, which should bring flour and groceries from Sydney, gather children from other districts for his schools, and collect pork and potatoes wherewith to feed them. In this 60-ton schooner, which was launched under the name of the Herald early in 1826, the missionary made several voyages to Australia, to Tauranga, and to Hokianga, but she was wrecked on entering the last-named harbour in 1828.
The schools were indeed the pivot of the mission during the first ten years of the new order. Hitherto they had been small and intermittent, but at Paihia they soon developed into large and important institutions. Discipline was rigidly maintained. From early morning, when the bell rang out at 5 o'clock, the hours of the day were mapped out for different kinds of work. The girls' schools were well cared for by Mrs. Williams—a lady whose literary gift has rescued from oblivion much of the life of those far-off days. A part of each day was devoted by the missionaries to their own acquisition of the Maori language, and to the translation of the Bible and Prayer Book. At this work William Williams excelled. He was an Oxford graduate, who joined his brother in the March of 1826. The language seemed to have for him no terrors and hardly any difficulties. From time to time small volumes of translated portions with hymns and catechism were carried across to Sydney and brought back in printed form. These were eagerly bought and read by the Maoris. They were the first printed specimens of their own tongue, and the influence they exerted was incalculable.
Learning, teaching, and translating occupied the brotherhood at Paihia, while Davis was farming at Kerikeri or Waimate, and the Wesleyans were founding a station further north at Whangaroa. Outside these quiet spots there was still turmoil and bloodshed. The year 1827 was a particularly stormy period. Hongi raided Whangaroa and there received a dangerous wound. The Wesleyans were panic-stricken and fled overland to Kerikeri. They were received there and at Paihia with brotherly welcome by men who felt that their own turn might soon come. "It is not easy," writes Bishop Williams, "to describe this breach which had been made upon the mission body." As soon as the news became known in Australia, Marsden flew to the scene in a warship, but he found the missionaries facing the prospect with quiet courage. "It gives me great pleasure," he wrote, "to find the missionaries so comfortable, living in unity and godly love, devoting themselves to the work." They were well aware, of course, that so far as their tenure depended upon human protection the outlook was not bright. Hongi sent to them a message advising them to stay as long as he should live, but to fly to their own country as soon as he should die. They determined to stay at their posts as long as possible, but they shipped some tons of goods to Sydney, in case of a taua or stripping-party which might be expected to visit them as soon as their protector should have died. Such a proceeding would have been strictly in accordance with Maori law of muru, and would be understood as a complimentary testimonial to the dead man's dignity. But it would have meant to the white men the loss of all their possessions, and the being left naked and destitute in a savage country.
Early in the year 1828 the long-expected death of the great warrior took place. He died as a heathen, his last words being, "Be courageous, be courageous!" But he had drawn closer to the missionaries during the last year of his life, and their estimates of him are nearly all favourable. "His conduct towards us," writes Clarke, "was kind, and his last moments were employed in requesting his survivors to treat us well." "He was ever the missionaries' friend," says Davis, "a shrewd, thoughtful man, very superior to any other native I have yet seen; the greatest man who has ever lived in these islands." Bishop Williams' estimate is less favourable, but the Committee of the C.M.S. (relying perhaps on Yate's unqualified encomium) considered that he had been specially raised up by God to be the protector and helper of the Gospel.
However beneficial his life may have been, the historian cannot help a sigh of relief when he comes to his death. For it marks the time when the mission began to stand on its own feet. So far from being "stripped," the missionaries actually rose in the estimation of the Maoris. A quarrel arose out of Hongi's death, which led to hostilities between the men of the Bay of Islands and those of Hokianga. The army of the Bay was worsted, and both sides were not unwilling for peace if honour could be preserved. Henry Williams and three of his colleagues went to the field and visited the camps. Everywhere they were treated with respect, and on Sunday a strict rest was enjoined as a mark of deference to these ambassadors of peace. Williams preached to a congregation of 500 on the neutral ground between the contending hosts. The silent and respectful behaviour recalled Marsden's first congregation fourteen years before. Next morning peace was concluded. "These," said Williams, "are new days indeed!"
The role of peacemaker thus taken up by the missionaries was one which they were often called upon to play. After a short interval of quiet, the flames of war were rekindled by the curses hurled by one young woman at another on the beach at Kororareka. A sharp battle was fought between the relatives and partisans of the two damsels, in which many lives were lost. At this juncture, Marsden arrived suddenly in the Bay. Together with Henry Williams he visited the hostile camps, and after some days of discussion peace was made. But the "Girls' War" did not end here. Two of the Ngapuhi chiefs, not being able to obtain vengeance for their slaughtered father among those who had slain him, went far away from their own territory and raided the islands in the Bay of Plenty. This involved the whole tribe in a war with the people of Tauranga, a war which dragged on for two whole years. Henry Williams and his brethren accompanied the fleets in their boat, and used their influence to stop the war. Partly through his exhortations, and partly through the absence of Hongi's determined generalship, the Ngapuhi fought half-heartedly and with little success. "The words of Wiremu," they confessed, "lay heavy on us, and our guns would not shoot." The stage had arrived which is depicted in the legend quoted at the head of this chapter. Like the Irish warrior, the New Zealanders were ready to say:
O weary was I of the travel, the trouble, the strife, and the sin.
The deadly feuds of the last thirteen years had greatly reduced the population, and the Maoris were bound to admit that the new religion offered a more excellent way.
This consummation, though highly desirable in itself, was of course regarded by the missionaries only as a means to a further end—the thorough conversion of the people to the Christian faith. Such conversions were rare, but they were just frequent enough to give encouragement. At first it was only the old and the sick who were drawn by the announcement of a heaven where bloodshed and turmoil should cease. Of these the case of the old man, Rangi, is notable through his being the first of his race to be received into the Church of Christ by baptism (1825). A much more striking conversion was that of Taiwhanga, one of Hongi's chief warriors, in 1829. His struggles against the fascinations of the old life were severe and prolonged. Frequently he was solicited to go with a party on the warpath, and even his musket was coveted as a weapon endowed with more than ordinary power. At last he resolved that his children should be baptised, and the letter which he wrote to the missionaries on this occasion is of uncommon interest: "Here am I thinking of the day when my son shall be baptised. You are messengers from God, therefore I wish that he should be baptised according to your customs. I have left off my native rites and my native thoughts, and am now thinking how I may untie the cords of the devil, and so loosen them that they may fall off together with all sin. Christ is near, perhaps beholding my sinfulness; he looks into the hearts of men. It is well for me to grieve in the morning, in the evening, and at night, that my sins may be blotted out."
The baptism of Taiwhanga's children (August 23) was naturally looked upon as a significant event. William Williams spent part of the previous day in translating the baptismal service, and he determined to baptise at the same time his own infant son, Leonard Williams, afterwards to become Bishop of Waiapu. Six months later, Taiwhanga himself came forward publicly for baptism, and received the appropriate name of David. He immediately became an active missionary among his own countrymen, and proved an invaluable help to his teachers.
In spite of these and other gleams of success, the mission seemed to its friends to be doing little during these years, inasmuch as it made no extension beyond the limits of the Bay of Islands. The regret was shared by the leaders on the spot, and it has already been shown how Williams made more than one attempt by sea to effect an opening in the Bay of Plenty. It must be remembered, however, that the country to the southward of the northern isthmus had been desolated by Hongi's wars, and that the few remaining inhabitants were naturally hostile to anything that seemed to come from the Ngapuhi. Concentration was forced upon the mission by the circumstances of the time. When once the schools were established, they required the whole of the available staff of teachers to conduct them efficiently. To have weakened the schools would have been bad policy, even if openings had presented themselves elsewhere.
But, as a matter of fact, the missionaries "builded better than they knew." The really important feature of their work was little guessed even by themselves. Among their classes at Paihia were many wistful faces of slaves who had been torn from their distant homes in Hongi's wars. These had been befriended by the missionaries, and were placed on an equal footing in the schools with the sons of chiefs and rangatiras. It was these who drank in most deeply the Christian teaching, and it was these who were destined to be the pioneers of the future.
Outwardly the most striking achievements of these schools were the annual examinations which took place at the close of the years 1828 to 1830. Twice the scholars from Paihia and Rangihoua were taken by boat to Kerikeri, where the proceedings lasted for two or three days, and always finished with a generous feast. The gathering of 1830 took place at Paihia, and included 178 men and boys, besides 92 girls. It is not often that a school examination acquires a political significance, but it was so in this case. There were more than 1,000 Maori spectators present—men who had fought on opposite sides in the recent battle of Kororareka. The orderliness of the proceedings, and the delightful atmosphere of keenness and pleasure which pervaded the scene, drew all parties together and served to weld the bond of peace.
Such exhibitions of the working of the new faith, together with the adhesion of a powerful convert like Taiwhanga, were bound to tell upon the people around. Evidences began to multiply of a serious attention to the teaching of the missionaries. Here and there in unexpected quarters signs appeared of coming change. To use the picturesque native simile, "the fire was spreading in the fern."
THE FORWARD MOVE.
Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.
Unlike their brethren in Africa and some other parts of the world, the New Zealand missionaries did not attempt much in the way of exploration. Marsden discovered the Manukau Harbour in 1820; Kendall and King were the first white men to visit Hokianga; Henry Williams' little Herald was the first European vessel since Captain Cook's Endeavour to enter the Bay of Plenty. Greater expeditions were prevented by a variety of obstacles. The missionaries were "settlers," and a settler is tied to his home duties. The land route from the Bay of Islands southwards had been devastated by Hongi. The clerical missionaries were few in number, and the schools absorbed all their energies. Hence it was that even as late as 1833—eighteen years after Marsden's first landing—their knowledge of the country was but slight. The map which Yate put forth at this time shows very little advance on that of Captain Cook. The interior of the island is almost wholly blank.
But the hour had now struck for a forward movement. New lay workers arrived from England—Wilson and Morgan in 1833, Colenso and others in the year following. The termination of the "Girls' War" had at last brought peace between the Ngapuhi and their neighbours; the inland tribes were beginning to creep out of their fastnesses and to re-occupy their ravaged lands.
Very cautiously and tentatively was the advance begun. Instead of a move to the southward, the Committee decided in the first place to try the north. At the end of 1832, Mr. William Williams with a large party of catechists and Maoris made their way for 80 miles over wooded mountains from Waimate to Kaitaia. The people at this place were so eager for a missionary that the resolution was soon taken to plant a station among them. It was long, however, before an actual settlement was made. In the following year some ground was bought, and a more direct road explored across the mountains. Even then there was hesitation. A fourth expedition was sent "to ascertain the true state of the minds of the natives with regard to our settling among them." The answer was brief and satisfactory: "Make haste and take up your abode among us." Thus encouraged, Puckey and Matthews made a temporary stay, and at last, after some months, brought up their wives and their belongings.
The site of the new station was a beautiful one. It lay amidst rivers and hills, and its position was such that the roar of the surf on both eastern and western coasts of the island could be distinctly heard. Shortly after his permanent settlement, Mr. Puckey made a journey to the extreme north of the island and reached Cape Reinga. Standing on the black cliffs against which the sea was dashing with terrific force, listening to the scream of the sea-fowl and the weird noise produced by the waves in a hollow cave, the white man could easily understand how this dread place came to be regarded by the Maoris as the gateway into the unseen world. The masses of kelp which swung to and fro in the waves were believed to be the door through which the spirits passed to Hawaiki, or to some idealised counterpart thereof, and a projecting tree-root halfway down the cliff was highly venerated as the ladder which assisted them in their descent. Very pathetic was the fear expressed by the older Maoris lest the white man should cut away this frail support of their hope of a future life: "Let the young men go with you to your heaven, but leave us our ladder to the Reinga." The missionary left them their ladder; but he told them on his return to Kaitaia that, whereas a death had occurred there during his absence, he had seen no bunches of grass on the road, such as they believed to be left by the spirits while passing up the coast. The old superstitions were clearly shaken, and the better faith soon took a powerful hold upon the people of the north.
Though this first attempt at an extension of the work was encouraging, it meant but little for the rest of New Zealand. Until a real attack could be made upon the south, the work could hardly be said to have begun in earnest. The land and the people were for the most part unknown, but a venture of faith must be made. This venture was begun in the October of 1833 under the leadership of Henry Williams, and constitutes one of the turning points in the history of New Zealand.
Besides the leader and the Rev. A. N. Brown, the expedition consisted of Messrs. Fairburn and Morgan with a party of Maoris. They left the Bay of Islands on October 22nd in open boats. The nights were spent on various islands, which they found to be all deserted, though everywhere they could see the remains of fortifications and villages. Where now the merchants of Auckland have their summer residences, there were no living beings to share the morning devotions of the missionaries, save the birds with their melodious songs. On the site of the Mokoia pa, where Marsden had so often received the hospitality of Hinaki, they could see nothing but fern and fuchsia bushes, with here and there an axe-cloven skull. Proceeding down the Hauraki Gulf, the same scenes presented themselves, until at last a little smoke was noticed on the Coromandel coast. A fortnight's travel brought them to Kopu at the head of the gulf—175 miles in a straight line from the Bay of Islands. Here they entered the Thames or Waihou River, and were carried up it by the tide. On their left was a wooded range of hills, and on the right a flat forest that extended as far as the eye could reach.
Habitations now became increasingly frequent, but the villages were all new, and among them appeared the remains of old pas which had been destroyed by Hongi. Strange stories, too, were told to the visitors of a miserable remnant of the old inhabitants, who still lingered on in the forest which lay to the right hand of the travellers. The whole of this country was submerged from time to time by the flooded rivers, and no one knew or could conjecture how these people lived. The smoke of their fires was occasionally seen, but they never held any communication with the people who had come to occupy the river banks.
By the evening of the second day the travellers arrived at a settlement that seemed to be of some importance. Now at last they had reached the heathen country, and could begin their mission to the south. Some 200 natives crowded round to see the visitors, those in the rear holding torches to increase the illumination. The missionaries began their Evensong with one of the Maori hymns which they were accustomed to sing at Paihia. Hardly had they sung a line when, to their intense surprise, the whole of the audience joined heartily in the tune. Trembling with excitement the reader began the Evening Prayer, and when he uttered the words, "O Lord, open Thou our lips," there came from a hundred manly voices the significant response, "And our mouth shall show forth Thy praise." So it continued throughout. Canticle and creed, prayer and hymn, were all known to these presumably heathen people. At the conclusion of the service the secret was discovered. Three of their boys had been taught at Paihia. Here was the first fruit of the mission schools.
For some days longer the journey up the river continued, the object being to gain an interview with the chief potentate of the region, the celebrated Waharoa. On leaving the river a dreary march began through woods and swamps. Henry Williams was carried on two poles by native bearers who often sank in mud up to their chests. At last they emerged into a beautiful park-like country, where stood Matamata, the pa of Waharoa. The old man was very gracious. Though his career had been almost as bloodstained as was that of Hongi, he made a favourable impression upon the missionaries, and "asked many significant questions about religion." He was keenly desirous of a mission settlement in his pa. Williams discussed with him many plans for an extension of the work. "This conversation," says Carleton, "was the clue to all subsequent proceedings."
Returning down the river, a site was chosen for a station at Puriri. The spot lay amongst flax swamps on a tributary of the Thames. It was somewhat damp and unhealthy, but it was centrally situated as regards the tribes of the neighbourhood. Before the end of the year it was occupied by Morgan, Preece, and Wilson, who found raupo houses already erected for them by the Maoris.
The Thames expedition had proved beyond a doubt that the land lay open to mission enterprise. But the surprises which it offered were not always pleasant ones. Early in the year 1836 Brown and Hamlin, with some Maori converts, started overland to explore the Waikato. The Kaipara and Tamaki districts were waste and uninhabited, nor were any human beings seen, till they struck the great river itself. In the absence of canoes they essayed to cross it on mokis or bundles of flax-stalks. These rafts were so satisfactory that they paddled down the stream for some distance, when they were met by a boat containing an Englishman and a younger brother of Te Wherowhero—afterwards well known as the Maori King, Potatau. The strangers were friendly, but their remarks were uncomfortably direct. "Why did you not come before?" they asked. "You have stayed so long in the Bay of Islands that surely your children are old enough to be missionaries. If you had come among us some time ago, the Taranakis would have been alive, but now we have cut them nearly all off."
The opening thus indicated could no longer be neglected. A few months later a second expedition was directed towards the same quarter, though by a different route. It consisted of Messrs. W. Williams, Brown, and Morgan, and they had with them the speaker of the sharp rebuke above mentioned. Approaching from the side of the Thames Valley they reached Ngaruawahia, at the confluence of the Waikato and Waipa rivers. Boating up the Waipa until they could pull no longer, they landed at Mangapouri near Pirongia. So pleased were they with the place that they decided to fix a station there. The local chief at once offered land, and set men at work to clear it, though a few months necessarily elapsed before it could be actually occupied.
Mr. Williams and his colleagues meanwhile journeyed back into the Thames Valley, and, after promising Waharoa to send him a teacher as soon as possible, passed on to the Bay of Plenty. At Tauranga a large gathering of the inhabitants was held. They had evidently not forgotten the efforts which had been made four years before by Henry Williams to save their settlement from the wrath of the Ngapuhi. They had come to realise that the missionaries actually cared for other tribes as well as for the favoured Ngapuhi; they felt that a mission station would help in the preservation of peace; and they undertook to build houses in readiness for the teachers who should come.
The year 1835 saw the opening of the four new stations. Hamlin and Stack settled at Mangapouri; Brown and Morgan at Matamata; Wilson at Tauranga; and Chapman near Ohinemutu, amidst the hot springs and geysers of Rotorua. It will be noticed that these frontier posts were occupied mainly by the new men who had not acquired much knowledge of the language or of the customs of the Maori. Some misunderstandings were bound to arise from this cause, and Wilson nearly lost his life at Puriri, but soon a more peaceful state of things ensued. Everything seemed bright and hopeful when, on Christmas Day, a horrible murder occurred at Rotorua, which kindled a fresh war, and threw the work into confusion for several years.
The details of the war lie, of course, outside our subject: it will suffice to notice those points at which it touched the missionary band. The Rotorua station was naturally the first to feel its effects. Mr. Chapman did his utmost to check the outbreak of hostilities, and having secured the head of the murdered man he had it conveyed to the relatives. But the victim was a chief of high rank and nearly related to Waharoa. It was incumbent therefore upon that redoubtable warrior to obtain utu for the slaughter of his relative. He was still a heathen, and was deaf to the exhortations of the Christians. "How sweet," he said, "will taste the flesh of the Rotoruas along with their new kumeras!" It was not long before he was able to gratify this wolfish taste, and in the confusion which followed the assault upon the Ohinemutu pa the missionary premises were looted. They were at the time in charge of two young assistants, Knight and Pilley—the former being a nephew of Marsden. Both were felled to the ground, wounded and stripped of their clothes. Chapman and his wife were fortunately absent. Mrs. Chapman after many dangers reached Matamata, but the tide of war rolled thither also, and the mission ladies were hurried through the swamps to the river bank. Here they were met unexpectedly by Fairburn and Wilson, who had been rowing up the Waihou for the last two days in the endeavour to bring help to their colleagues at Rotorua. Wilson in his journal thus describes the meeting: "River covered by a thick fog, everything dripping wet. After rowing a few miles in the early morning we came to a small sandy landing place. Here, under some canvas thrown over the shrubs, we found Mr. Morgan and three missionaries' wives—Mesdames Brown, Chapman, and Morgan—and with them two or three native girls (bearers of their luggage from Matamata). These poor ladies had all the appearance of fugitives, and such they really were. They had slept in their clothes on the wet ground, and their chief comfort was a little fire struggling for existence with wet green wood. On hearing the noise of our boat landing, I saw from under the canvas a weary pale face, nearly on a level with the wet earth, looking to see what it was. How glad they were to see us! What a change in their countenances from sorrow to gladness! Now—for a time at least—their troubles were over. In a few minutes we had them packed and arranged in our little boat, and sent them down the Waihou on their way to the Puriri."
Though the ladies had escaped unharmed, their belongings had not. The Matamata station was no safe place for anything, on account of the marauding bands who infested the country. As soon as possible therefore the most valuable articles were packed and sent off towards the river. News soon arrived that the convoy had been plundered. Morgan and Knight set out in pursuit and encountered a band of armed men, whose grotesque appearance brought a laugh to the missionaries' faces in spite of the danger of the situation. Most of the party were dressed in white shirts, and "one man was marching before the rest, with the utmost consequence, his head and olive-coloured face being enveloped in a black silk bonnet belonging to Mrs. Chapman, while a strip of cotton print, tied round his neck, formed the remainder of his apparel—he having left his own clothes at home, in order to his being lighter for fighting or anything else he might have to do."
The humour of the moment was not lessened when it was found that the strangely clad procession consisted not of the actual robbers, but of a friendly party who had robbed them in turn. The hero of the bonnet episode was, in fact, a son of Waharoa, who shortly afterwards embraced Christianity, and under the new name of Wiremu Tamihana (William Thomson) witnessed a good confession in the midst of his savage compatriots, and actually built a new pa, in which he allowed no one to live who did not join with him and his followers in worshipping God and in keeping the elementary rules of morality.
Troubles continued to thicken, but the missionaries clung to their posts as long as they could. Wilson went to the help of Chapman at Rotorua, and together they retired across the lake to the island which has become famous through the legend of Hinemoa. The beauty of its traditions could hardly be appreciated by the fugitive missionaries: "The hut in which we live," they wrote, "is small and damp, has neither chimney nor window, and on rainy days, which confine us inside, we construct a lamp with lard and cotton to read by, as best we can." But Chapman, like his wife, never complained. Without a word of reproach or repining, he took his friend over the ruins of the old station, which he had made the most beautiful of all the mission properties. His one desire was to make peace among his people, and for this purpose he sent once and again to Henry Williams for his help. But even Wiremu, with all his efforts, could not soften the heart of Waharoa nor of the Rotorua leaders. The war accordingly went on, though now in desultory fashion. The Matamata station was finally stripped, and its occupants driven to the north. The Committee now withdrew Chapman to Tauranga, and finally with Wilson to the Bay of Islands. They arrived there at about the same time as did the refugees from the Thames.
The forward movement appeared thus to issue in failure. But the abandonment was not for long, nor had the work already done been in vain. Waharoa died a heathen, but he complained before his death that his sons, under mission influence, were becoming too mild and forgiving. The case of one of these—Tamihana—has already been noticed. Still more remarkable is that of his warlike nephew, Ngakuku, whose name brings us to one of the most touching incidents in the history of Maori Christianity.
Ngakuku was not an avowed Christian, but he had sent his little daughter, Tarore, to live with Mrs. Brown—one of the ladies whom we found sheltering by the river bank in their flight from Matamata. In the mission house the child Tarore had learned to read, and had been given a copy of the Gospel of St. Luke. In the middle of October her father took her and a younger brother on a journey to Tauranga. The party consisted of several Maoris, and an Englishman who was connected with the mission. At night they encamped at the foot of Wairere, where a magnificent cascade falls from the high forest land above. After their meal, Ngakuku offered prayers to the God whom he was just beginning to know, and when they laid down to rest, Tarore pillowed her head upon her precious Gospel. But their fire had been noticed by a party of Rotoruas far up the valley. These crept down during the night, and just before daylight made a sudden attack upon the camp. The Englishman's tent was the first to be entered, and while it was being stripped, Ngakuku had time to seize his little son and to escape into the bush. He tried to arouse Tarore also, but the child was heavy with sleep and had to be abandoned. When the enemy departed, the agonised father came down from his retreat and found lying in the hut the mangled corpse of his little girl. He carried it to Mr. Brown at Matamata, with the words, "My heart is sad, for I do not know whether my child has gone to heaven or to the Reinga." After evening prayers in the chapel, he rose and spoke to those present from the words so new to him, "In my Father's house are many mansions." Next day Tarore was buried amidst a scene of the deepest solemnity. The father spoke at the close with strong feeling: "There lies my child; she has been murdered as a payment for your bad conduct. But do not you rise up to obtain satisfaction for her. God will do that. Let this be the conclusion of the war with Rotorua. Let peace be now made. My heart is not sad for Tarore, but for you. You wished teachers to come to you: they came, but now you are driving them away."
"God will obtain satisfaction," said Ngakuku. Bishop Williams remarks on the notable circumstance that, in an attack made upon Matamata some weeks afterwards, out of five Rotorua natives who were killed, four were concerned in this tragedy. Higher satisfaction still was made some years afterwards when Uita, the man who led the attack, having a desire to embrace Christianity, first sought reconciliation with Ngakuku. Nor did the effects of the little maiden's death stop even here. What had become of her Gospel? Who could tell?
The moment when the refugees arrived in the Bay of Islands was a particularly interesting one. Samuel Marsden was making his last visit to New Zealand. He had come, as he came ten years before, to bring cheer to his missionaries in a time of war and confusion. But the conditions in 1837 were very different from those of 1827. Then, there was darkness everywhere; now, in spite of the troubles in the south, there was gladness and a feeling of success. The older stations had indeed joyful tales to tell concerning the work of the last five years. Whatever might have been the fate of the forward movement, it had certainly coincided with a real religious awakening at the base in the north. At Waimate this was especially evident. Richard Davis could tell of days when he had over a hundred people coming to him with anxious enquiries about their souls. Numbers of converts had been admitted, after most stringent tests, not only to Baptism but to the Holy Communion. At Paihia the schools had undoubtedly suffered through the withdrawal of the teachers for the southern stations, but their work had been done. Large numbers of the people could now read, and those who had learned at the mission schools were teaching others in the villages far and wide. And, above all, a printing press had been received at Paihia in 1835. This event aroused extraordinary interest. The Maoris danced before the ponderous case as it was drawn up the beach, and acclaimed Colenso, the printer, as if he had been a victorious general. Distant chiefs came bringing bags of potatoes for the precious books. Two thousand copies of the Epistles to the Ephesians and the Philippians were the first books to be published in this country; then came the Gospel of St. Luke. This booklet was so eagerly sought for that the printers could not bind the copies fast enough. Into regions previously inaccessible the gracious words of divine wisdom penetrated. Tarore's copy was not the only one that found its way into the wild southern lands.
Hence it was that Marsden's last visit bore the aspect of a triumphal progress. Landing at the Wesleyan station on the Hokianga River at the end of February, he was received with the utmost joy by the missionaries, who remembered his constant kindness to them, especially at the time of their flight from Whangaroa. From Hokianga he was carried on a litter by a procession of 70 men for 20 miles to Waimate, where he was met by Messrs. W. Williams, Davis, and Clarke. With pride they showed him the products of native workmanship in various departments—the church, the mill, the flourishing farm, the road to Kerikeri with its solid bridges. Marsden had always believed in the capacity of the Maori for industrial pursuits: now the evidences of this capacity were before him. But more grateful still to him was the sight of people everywhere reading the Scriptures and the Prayer Book. Wherever he went he was received with the utmost veneration. The heathen fired off muskets and executed war dances; the Christians showed their feelings in gentler ways. One chief sat upon the ground gazing upon him in silence, without moving a limb or uttering a single word, for several hours. "Let me alone," he said, when urged to move away; "let me take a last look; I shall never see him again." At Kaitaia, Marsden held a constant levee, sitting in an arm-chair, in an open field before the mission house. More than a thousand Maoris came to see him there, some of them having travelled for many miles.
During this tour the old hero visited all the stations, except those which had been abandoned in the south. John King was the one link of connection between this farewell visit and the first. He had removed his dwelling in 1832 from its original position in the historic bay of Rangihoua to a more suitable spot at Te Puna, on the other side of the hill. His work had been greatly interrupted by a curious sabbatarian sect which had arisen among his little flock; nor had the faithful man any striking success to show; but he had held the fort amidst manifold discouragements, and he had gained the respect of the people around.
At the departure of the patriarch from our shores, the feelings of his converts reached their climax. From Kerikeri and from Waimate they came in crowds to the Bay to bid him farewell, and the scene on the beach resembled that at Miletus when the people of Ephesus "fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him." A warship conveyed Marsden to Australia, and during the voyage he spoke much of his lately-deceased wife, and of the many friends who had preceded him to the eternal world. On a friend remarking that the separation would not be for long, "God grant it," he replied; and lifting his eyes to the bright moon, which laid a shining pathway across the heaving waters, he exclaimed with intense feeling:
That day indeed was not far distant, for he died some nine months later, on May 12th, 1838, and was buried in his family vault in the cemetery at Parramatta. Seldom, surely, has it been granted to anyone to see such a rich result of his labours before his death. The New Zealand mission, be it remembered, was only one of the fields of his activity: the Tahitian mission of the London Missionary Society was almost equally indebted to his care and generosity; while his own proper work among the convicts of New South Wales was enough to try the most ardent faith. Yet, in every field, he lived to see enormous difficulties overcome, and a plentiful harvest gathered in. Next to his heroic faith must be placed his almost boundless liberality. No one ever discovered the amount of money he provided from his own private funds for the New Zealand work, but it was known to be very great. As to his whole career we may quote the words of Saunders, who would not be likely to show any favour: "He was not a great preacher, nor a great writer, nor a great actor; but he was a good man and wrought righteousness. His patience and courage were unbounded; his unselfish purity was brilliant; his benevolence was universal. He obtained no title, he acquired no landed estate, no monument was erected to his memory, his bones rest not in New Zealand soil; but the blessing of those who were ready to perish has come upon him; and the proud and secure position which the Maori now holds in civilised society is mainly due to the stedfast faith and trust in his ultimate capability, which nothing could drive from the breast of Samuel Marsden."
"YEARS OF THE RIGHT HAND."
The right hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to pass.
We now approach the climax of the missionary period. The plant which had been rooted with so much difficulty, nursed with so much care, watered with so many tears of disappointment, was now to break into sudden and wonderful bloom.
The check caused by the Rotorua-Thames (or "bonnet") war was but of short duration. Long before its close, Chapman was back at Rotorua, with Morgan as his colleague. They built a new station on the island in the lake (Mokoia), and here their families and their wardrobes were in peace. Before long every village round the lake had its raupo chapel; and Chapman himself pressed on southward to Lake Taupo, where the effects of his labours will meet us later on.
In the same year (1838) Brown and Wilson re-occupied Tauranga, which soon became a particularly powerful centre. Not only were the catechetical classes large and enthusiastic, but the native teachers itinerated through the villages of the district, and a party of fifteen set off on a missionary tour to Taupo and Cook Strait. The history of this bold undertaking is hard to discover, but local traditions seem to show that these dimly-remembered pioneers must have descended the Wanganui River, and that at least one must have penetrated as far south as Otaki.
From Tauranga also an occasional visit was paid to Matamata, which was not again to become the residence of a white missionary. But it had Tamihana Waharoa with his model pa, and its graveyard contained the grave of Tarore, "who, being dead, yet spake." Her father, Ngakuku, did not indulge in useless grief, but in 1839 accompanied Wilson from Tauranga along the Bay of Plenty to Opotiki near its eastern end, and there they founded a station amid a people more savage than any yet encountered. Yet even these accepted the new teaching with eagerness. A curious evidence of this was given by a deputation which came one day to Opotiki from a village 30 miles in the interior. The object of these strangers was not blankets or powder, but simply to ask the white man whether the words of the burial service might be read over the unbaptised!
Outside the region of the "bonnet" war, changes also were in progress. The tribes were moving toward the coast, and their teachers found it wise to follow. The Puriri station was for this reason broken up, and two new ones established on the Hauraki Gulf—Fairburn settling at Maraetai, and Preece near the mouth of the Thames. Hamlin, too, abandoned his post at Mangapouri, and sailed down the Waikato to its mouth. Proceeding northwards to the Manukau Harbour, he found there the Rev. R. Maunsell already established. They worked together for three years; then Maunsell, leaving Hamlin at Manukau, opened a new station at Waikato Heads. Maunsell was a Dublin graduate of great eloquence and strong personality. He soon acquired a commanding influence over the people of his district, and an examination held by him in 1839 rivalled those of the Bay of Islands ten years before. Fifteen hundred people were present at this gathering. A class of 450 were examined in the Catechism in the open air, while 300 more advanced scholars inside the schoolhouse displayed their proficiency in varied subjects, some of them repeating correctly whole chapters out of the Epistles. At the close came a baptismal service, when 100 Maoris were received into the fold of Christ's Church; and afterwards a celebration of the Holy Communion, when more than that number participated. The service was followed by a feast, at which whole pigs were deftly carved and carefully apportioned, with their share of corn and kumeras, to each tribe: "In a few moments the whole vanished as if by magic. All was animation and cheerfulness, and even those who had come four and five days' distance seemed to forget their fatigue in the general excitement."
While the mission was thus spreading through the island in cheering fashion, the older stations at the Bay were privileged to receive an episcopal visit. The able and devoted Dr. Broughton had lately (1836) been appointed Bishop of Australia, and had been requested by the C.M.S. to extend his pastoral care, as far as possible, to the islands of New Zealand. The mention of such a visit calls up imaginative pictures of its probable course. Would there not have been intense expectation and busy preparations beforehand? The Maoris would doubtless welcome their august visitor with characteristic heartiness, and would come forward in hundreds, if not in thousands, to receive the gift of Confirmation at his hands. His journeys from one station to another would be like a triumphal progress; there would have been feastings, gifts, and rejoicings everywhere.
The actual facts were just the reverse. No one knew beforehand of his lordship's intention. He arrived unexpectedly on Dec. 21, 1838, and at a time when any sort of public welcome was well-nigh impossible. A violent epidemic of influenza had just spread through the settlements, and hardly a person was unaffected. Everyone was ill and weak. It was not without a certain appropriateness that the first distinctively episcopal acts performed upon our soil were those of the consecration of burial-grounds at Paihia and at Kororareka. The bishop went inland to Waimate, but the missionary in charge (R. Davis) could hardly, for weakness, show his visitor round the village. To judge by his journals, his thoughts were more taken up with his dying Maoris than with the living prelate. At the confirmation held when the bishop returned to Paihia (Jan. 5), only 44 Maoris were able to be presented, besides 20 white people—mostly missionaries' children. At the Hauraki station the bishop found a mere handful able to receive the laying-on of hands. Owing to the shortness of his visit and to the difficulty of communication, he was unable to visit more than these three stations; and he had left for Norfolk Island before many of the missionaries knew of his arrival.
It must not be supposed, however, that this visit was in vain. The leaders of the mission had long felt their isolation from the rest of the world, and the new difficulties which the growth of a European population in the Bay was beginning to bring forth. They received much encouragement from the good bishop's counsel, and were placed in a better position for dealing with the white men. The sick were cheered by his sympathetic ministrations, and all classes united in expressing the farewell hope that he would not forget them but would soon visit them again.
This hope was destined not to be realised; but the bishop left behind him a permanent addition to the mission staff in the person of a young Oxford undergraduate, who had been driven by delicate health to leave England and to undertake the long sea voyage to Australia. The bishop had admitted him to the diaconate in Sydney, and now at Paihia ordained him to the priesthood. Octavius Hadfield was still in a state of extreme delicacy, but he resolved to dedicate whatever might remain to him of life and strength to the service of Christ among the Maoris.
Neither bishop nor priest, however, nor yet catechist nor settler, was to be the most signal agent in the extension of the work during these wonderful "years of the right hand of the Most Highest." Their labours were indeed richly blest, as the preceding pages have sufficiently shown. But the humbler instruments whose work has now to be recorded stand out in bolder relief, owing to the amazing contrast between the insignificance of the means and the magnitude of the results achieved.
The east side of New Zealand was brought into contact with the mission through the prevailing winds which blow from that quarter. In the year 1833 there arrived in the Bay of Islands a ship which, while lying becalmed off the East Cape, had received on board a party of some dozen Maoris from the shore. Before they could be landed, the wind had sprung up, and thus they were carried into the territory of their enemies, who immediately proceeded to allot them as slaves. But the wind was not an altogether unkind one, for it had brought them within reach of Christian influences. The missionaries rescued the men and sent them eastwards again. Before they could land, however, they were again blown away by a sudden gale, and once more found themselves at the Bay. Here they were kept at Paihia for the winter, and in the summer of 1834 were at last successfully restored to their friends. They were accompanied on this occasion by Mr. William Williams, who found a warm welcome among the kinsfolk of the returned refugees. He even marked out a spot in the Waiapu valley for a future mission station. Nothing more, however, was done for some years; the incident, though deeply interesting, was well-nigh forgotten, and "it was hardly thought that any good results would follow."
Neither might any good results have followed had the matter lain with the twelve men who had passed through the adventures just described. Of course, they spread a favourable report of their kind rescuers, and this was not to be despised. But there was not a sufficiently definite Christianity among them to qualify them to be teachers of their people. The nine days' wonder of their deliverance would soon have given place to the all-engrossing thoughts of war and vengeance.
But they did not come back alone. With them came some slaves who had been carried to the Bay in earlier days by one of Hongi's raiding parties, and had now been set free by their Christian masters. One of these, Taumatakura, had attended school at Waimate, and though he had shown little interest in religion, he had at least learned to read. This man, on finding himself now among a people who were hungering for knowledge, began to teach and to preach. He wrote out verses and hymns on strips of paper, and these were cherished by his tribesmen with a superstitious veneration. His reputation increased to such a degree that when a military expedition was set on foot he was asked to accompany it. The armament was a great one, for it consisted of all the warriors for 100 miles down the coast, and it was strengthened by the alliance of the tribes of the Bay of Plenty. The object of the expedition was the capture of a strong pa near Cape Runaway—the promontory which juts northwards into the ocean above East Cape. Taumatakura was by this time sufficiently confident to be able to make conditions. He stipulated that there must be no cannibalism nor any unnecessary destruction of canoes and food. His conditions were accepted, and the advance was begun. In the final assault upon the pa, what was the surprise of all the chiefs to see the one-time slave actually leading the attack! Fearlessly he rushed onward—gospel in one hand and musket in the other—amid a hail of bullets. Neither he nor his book was hit; and when the citadel was captured, Taumatakura was the hero of the day. Evidently his book was a charm of power: his words must be obeyed. Not only were his stipulations observed, but anything else he taught was now received with implicit deference. He did not know much, but at least he proclaimed the sanctity of the Ra-tapu or weekly day of rest.
Such was the news which reached William Williams at Waimate in the spring of 1837. "Why do you stay here," said the stranger, "while over there at Waiapu they are all ready to do what you tell them?" Early in the following year, accordingly, Messrs. W. Williams and Colenso went by sea to Hicks Bay, and walked under the cliffs along the coast for 100 miles. Wherever a valley opened they found a large and populous village; and everywhere the Sunday was observed, and there was an outcry for books and teachers. In one place, indeed, the people kept two sabbaths each week. The field was ripe unto harvest. Later in the year, Henry Williams took six native teachers to occupy the field; and finally, in 1840, his brother removed thither with his family, and settled at Turanga in Poverty Bay. His labours were strikingly successful, and soon there was a church and an overflowing congregation in every pa. Thus wonderfully and unexpectedly began what was afterwards to become the diocese of Waiapu.
More directly in the central line of advance, and certainly not less romantic in its beginnings, was the extension of the faith to the shores of Cook Strait.
Reference has already been made to the evangelising expedition from Tauranga into this country. But before it could have reached its destination, a still more humble agent had been at work, whose position, like that of Taumatakura, was that of a liberated slave, and whose story, like his, begins at the Bay of Islands.
It must have been in the year 1836, or somewhat earlier, that the little cemetery at Paihia became the receptacle of the headless body of a Maori who had been killed in a quarrel. With the body came a slave who was now left without an owner. The missionaries took him into house and school, and were pleased with his behaviour. Ripahau showed no signs, however, of becoming a Christian, and after a time asked leave to join a fighting party which was leaving the Bay for Rotorua. He seems to have become known there to Mr. Chapman, but he soon disappeared, and for two years nothing was heard of him. At last, Chapman received from him a letter asking for books. The letter came from Cook Strait, and explained that the people of that neighbourhood were eager to receive instruction. Shortly afterwards two young chiefs from the same quarter presented themselves at the Bay of Islands with a story which thrilled the hearers with wonder and gratitude.
To understand its purport it is necessary to cast a backward glance over the years since the early days of the mission, when the Ngapuhi were procuring firearms from traders and missionaries. Hongi was not the only man in those days who foresaw the power which the musket would give. , the young chief of a small tribe living round the harbour of Kawhia on the West Coast, realised that his Waikato neighbours must from their geographical position acquire the precious weapons before his own tribe could do so. The outlook was desperate, and the remedy must be of an heroic nature.
Rauparaha travelled down the coast to Kapiti, and there saw a European whaling-ship. Here then was another spot to which the white men resorted, and from which the coveted firearms could be obtained. The Maori at once made up his mind to remove his whole tribe thither, and thus place them in as good a situation as that of the Ngapuhi at the Bay of Islands. How the migration was effected—with what blending of statecraft, heroism, treachery, and cruelty—is a subject which does not come within the purview of a history of the Church. Suffice it to say that, at the date to which our narrative has now arrived, Rauparaha was securely settled in the island fastness of Kapiti, while his Ngatitoas had their habitations on the mainland opposite. They had ravaged the south of the island, as the Ngapuhi under Hongi had devastated the north; and Rauparaha was the most powerful and influential personage in New Zealand, except—Henry Williams. And now the two powers had met, for the young men who had arrived at Paihia were none other than the son and the nephew of Rauparaha, and the cause of their coming was due to the forgotten slave Ripahau himself.
This seemingly insignificant person had reached Otaki in the new territory of the Ngatitoas some three years before. There he had met with Rauparaha's son, Tamihana, a young man who was sick at heart of his father's violent ways. Fascinated by the slave's story of the peaceful life of the missionaries at the Bay of Islands, he had compelled him to teach his friends and himself to read. Ripahau had but a Prayer Book with him, and it was hard to teach a class from one book. But he remembered that a few more books had been brought from Rotorua by the party with whom he travelled. These he procured, and among them there was a much-damaged copy of the Gospel of St. Luke. This bore the name of Ngakuku, and was in fact the very copy upon which little Tarore was sleeping when she was murdered in the night! In order to study in quiet, Tamihana and his cousin Te Whiwhi took Ripahau to the island and made him teach them there. The two cousins had Tarore's gospel for their lesson book. "We learnt," they said, "every day, every night. We sat at night in the hut, all round the fire in the middle. Whiwhi had part of the book, and I part. Sometimes we went to sleep upon the book, then woke up and read again. After we had been there six months, we could read a little, very slowly."
But they had learned something even better than the art of reading. They had learned—and learned with the spirit—the subject-matter of the book. They now took Ripahau with them to some villages on the mainland to teach the people about the book: "These people believed, and they all wanted the book. I told them I could not give them any part of it, but I told Ripahau to write for them on paper, Our Father, &c. He wrote it for them all, and they learnt it. Before, Ripahau had not believed, but now his heart began to grow. We talked to him, and he believed."
The result of this marvellous conversion was the visit of the two cousins to the Bay of Islands. They asked for a white teacher to come and live among them. The call was an urgent one, and Henry Williams volunteered to go himself. But his brethren and converts, fearing the removal of his great influence, voted against the proposal, and there was no other volunteer. The chiefs retired to their cabin in utter despair: "Oh! dark, very dark, our hearts were." A fortnight they stayed in their cabin, when a sailor announced that the missionary's boat was approaching. Henry Williams called out from it, "Friends, do not be angry with me any more; here is your missionary." It was the slight and consumptive Hadfield. This young recruit had not been able to understand the language of the visitors, but after they had gone he asked the purport of their errand. "I will go with them," he exclaimed; "as well die there as here." The older men were loth to let him make the venture, but he would not be kept back. It was at length resolved that Henry Williams should accompany him to the south, and help him to settle among the Ngatitoas. "We were all very happy that day," wrote Tamihana; "our hearts cried, we were very happy!"
This southward journey of Williams and Hadfield, which began on October 21st, 1839, was like that to the Thames six years before, in that it inaugurated a great step forward in the work of the mission, and led the missionaries into regions which they had only dimly known before. Yet its fateful significance, both for New Zealand and for the individual travellers, could hardly be even guessed at the time by the two men themselves. To the one it was to bring life; to the other, troubles almost worse than death.
After ten days' voyage down the eastern coast, the schooner which conveyed Henry Williams, Hadfield, and their Maori retinue rounded Cape Palliser; but, meeting there the full force of the west wind through the straits, was unable to make direct for Kapiti, and took shelter in a harbour which opened out on their starboard bow. "Very different from what is represented in the map of Captain Cook," remarked Williams, thus showing how little had hitherto been known about this magnificent inlet of Port Nicholson. But once inside its capacious recesses, he found that others had just discovered its value before him. Two Wesleyan missionaries had been there during the year, and had left a native teacher behind them; while a still more important visitor had arrived even more lately in the person of Colonel Wakefield, advance agent for the New Zealand Company, whose emigrant ships were every day expected.
Much to Williams' displeasure he learned that Wakefield was claiming possession of the shores of the harbour—thus leaving to the Maori inhabitants no place of their own for the future. This information came from one of his old Paihia boys, Reihana, who had secured a passage with the Wesleyan expedition, and was now engaged in teaching his own fellow tribesmen. Reihana complained that he with others had opposed the sale of their lands, but that the Europeans would take no account of their rights, and insisted on having the whole.
Henry Williams was not opposed to colonisation if rightly undertaken, but his blood began to boil at this story; nor did he feel happier when he found that a savage quarrel had arisen between two parties of Maoris over some of the land in question, and that during the last fortnight many men had been killed. No protest could be made at the moment, as Wakefield had left for the north; but, finding Reihana anxious to leave a place where his property was thus in jeopardy, Williams bought of him the land for a mission station. The Society at Home, however, decided not to form a station in the place, and the section (which comprised about 60 acres of what is now the heart of Wellington) remained in Williams' hands. The Maoris would never allow it to be pegged out by the Company's surveyors until Henry Williams himself, on his next visit, presented all but one acre to the Company in consideration of their undertaking to make reserves for the benefit of the natives. The one acre he afterwards sold, and devoted the proceeds to the endowment of a church at Pakaraka. This is the real history of a transaction which, by frequent misrepresentation, has brought undeserved obloquy upon a generous man.
After distributing Prayer Books amongst the pas around the harbour, the travellers made another attempt to continue their voyage. Again they were blown back to the Port, and eventually decided to walk to their destination overland, leaving the schooner to follow when the wind should change. Hadfield was extremely unwell, but pluckily resolved to follow his chief, and together they set off on the morning of Nov. 14 over the steep hills upon which the suburbs of Wellington now stand.
Four days of hard walking brought them to Waikanae. At many places on the road the people came out to give them welcome, for the name of Wiremu was familiar to all. At every place, too, he was urged to tell them about religion, and at the pa of Waikanae the people "kept me in conversation till I could talk no more."
Next day a ceremonious visit was paid to Rauparaha in his island fortress: "The old man told me that now he had seen my eyes and heard my words, he would lay aside his evil ways and turn to the Book." How far this change was sincere may be doubted; it seems to have been partly caused by his fear of Col. Wakefield's ship, which was mistaken for a man-of-war. At any rate the old warrior gave a warm welcome to the young missionary, Hadfield, and insisted that he should live at Otaki under his protection.
A meeting of a different character was that between Williams and his old scholar, Ripahau. This man had married a daughter of Rangitaake, or Wiremu Kingi, head chief of Waikanae, and had become a person of great influence in the tribe. "He has taught many to read," writes Williams, "and has instructed numbers, as far as he is able, in the truths of the Gospel; so that many tribes, for some distance around, call themselves Believers, keep the Lord's Day, assemble for worship, and use the Liturgy of the Church of England. The schools also are numerous." A fortnight later, just as he was about to leave the district, Williams baptised this remarkable young teacher by the appropriate name of Joseph, for of him too it might be said:
Unfortunately the princes, or chiefs, had not all learned wisdom. There had been a war between Rauparaha's people and those of Waikanae over the distribution of the goods given by Wakefield for the land at Port Nicholson. When Williams arrived at Waikanae the traces of carnage lay all around. Again, therefore, he was called to be a peace-maker. He spent a week on a mission to Otaki, and returned to Waikanae with 300 armed and feathered warriors at his heels. But these men had put into his hands full power to treat with the enemy. After much debate, Ripahau was similarly commissioned by the other side; peace was soon concluded; a war-dance gave relief to the excited feelings of the tribesmen; a service occupied the evening; and the day was concluded with a quiet meeting, in which the few native teachers of the district were prepared to receive the Holy Communion, which was to be administered for the first time in those regions on the Sunday morning which was now approaching.
Early on that day the Maoris came round the missionaries' tent and began their Matins worship. Ripahau had taught them hymns, and to these they had themselves fitted "very agreeable" tunes. At 8 o'clock a great service was held, with a congregation of 1,200 people. Then followed the Holy Eucharist. School and evening service and conversation with anxious enquirers at the tent door kept the missionary busy till late at night.
Three days later Henry Williams bade farewell to Hadfield, and started off alone on a journey such as had never yet been attempted by a white man in New Zealand. His schooner had not yet arrived, and he had determined to travel overland to the Whanganui River, and thence through the heart of the island to the Bay of Plenty. But when he reached the Rangitikei he found more peace-making work to do, for he was met by a fighting party from Taranaki who were bent on attacking the settlements which he had just left. They carried gospels as well as fire-arms, but this seemed to make them insolent instead of reasonable. Their leader was an ignorant person who, on the strength of having once been at a Wesleyan mission station, posed as a prophet and had invented a new sacrament. Williams gave this man a severe rebuke, both for his demeanour and for his heresy. So potent was the influence of "Wiremu" that, after much debate, the northern army turned homewards, and the Otaki Christians were left in peace.
On arrival at the Whanganui, great eagerness was everywhere displayed for books and teachers. In a native canoe Henry Williams ascended this noted stream, whose banks were then clothed in all their primeval beauty. Not bush-clad precipices, however, attracted his attention so much as the villages which nestled at their foot. In all of these he was astonished to find Christian worship maintained, though no white teacher had yet passed by that way. These kaingas are all vanished now, and their very names are well-nigh forgotten; but Pukehika (a few miles below Pipiriki) afforded the traveller a memorable experience. At daybreak on Christmas Eve he records that "three bells for morning prayers were heard from different hamlets in the neighbourhood." On reading this astonishing statement, one's thoughts fly at once to Kinglake's well-known experience in the Arabian desert, when on a Sunday morning he heard distinctly the bells of his village church at Marlen. But there was no illusion here. The bells were chiefly musket barrels, and they hung in actual raupo chapels built by Maori hands!
On leaving the river the expedition had before them a week's march to Taupo. For three days this meant climbing steep mountains and sliding down precipices, creeping along the trunks of fallen trees, or worming a way underneath them. On the fourth morning the travellers emerged into the open country at the foot of Mt. Ruapehu, and took their way across the pumice plateau. Their food was now nearly exhausted, and it was in a "tight-belted" condition that, on the last day but one of the old year, they saw the great lake glittering before them. Villages clustered round its shores, and in most of them there stood a chapel erected at the instance of Chapman and his Rotorua teachers. Williams enjoyed the feeling of being once more on the track of other missionaries; nor did he despise the evidences of their care which met him from time to time on his way—tea and sugar in one place and a horse in another—until he at last reached Rotorua in a somewhat exhausted condition, and was thankful to rest once more on the island, in Morgan's quiet abode.
A still more pleasant surprise awaited the dauntless traveller on his further journey to Tauranga. While pushing his way through wet bush, he suddenly met Mr. William Williams, who in the midst of his migration to the east coast had been blown into Tauranga by contrary winds. On entering the village the brothers held a meeting, at which it was resolved to send a missionary to Whanganui without delay, both for the sake of the earnest enquirers in that district, and to afford some companionship to Hadfield in his lonely post at Otaki. The man chosen for this duty was the Rev. J. Mason, who had lately arrived in the country. Henry Williams arrived at his home on Jan. 18th, 1840, in time to negotiate the Treaty of Waitangi, which will fall to be considered in a different connection.
Twenty-five years had elapsed since Marsden had brought the tidings of Christianity to New Zealand, and his settlers had begun in fear and trembling to lay the foundation stones of the Church in this new land. Now, there was hardly a district of the North Island into which the knowledge of the truth had not penetrated. We have watched its progress in north and east and south-west and centre. The Wesleyan missionaries were working down the west coast. Only the south-east had not been touched. Its population was small and had been greatly reduced by Rauparaha, but the readiness of the people was great, if we may judge from one of the most pathetic passages from the old Maori days. The events relate to a time a little later than that of those already described, but they must look back to the early days of Hadfield's residence at Kapiti. The speaker is an old chief who died in the Wairarapa district between Eketahuna and Pahiatua in 1850. The old man thus described to his sons his search for the new light of which he had heard:
"You well know that I have from time to time brought you much riches. I used to bring you muskets, hatchets, and blankets, but I afterwards heard of the new riches called Faith. I sought it; I went to Manawatu, a long and dangerous journey, for we were surrounded by enemies. I saw some natives who had heard of it, but they could not satisfy me. I sought further, but in vain. I then heard of a white man, called Hadfield, at Kapiti, and that with him was the spring where I could fill my empty and dry calabash. I travelled to his place; but he was gone—gone away ill. I returned to you, my children, dark-minded. Many days passed by. The snows fell, they melted, they disappeared; the tree-buds expanded; the paths of the forest were again passable to the foot of the Maori. We heard of another white man who was going over mountains, through forests and swamps, giving drink from his calabash to the poor secluded natives, to the remnants of the tribes of the mighty, of the renowned of former days, now dwelling by twos and threes among the roots of the trees of ancient forests, and among the high reeds of the brooks in the valleys. Yes, my grandchildren; your ancestors once spread over the country, as did the quail and the kiwi, but now their descendants are as the descendants of those birds, scarce, gone, dead. Yes; we heard of that white man: we heard of his going over the snowy mountains to Patea, up the East Coast, all over the rocks to Turakirae. I sent four of my children to Mataikona to meet him. They saw his face; you talked with him. You brought me a drop of water from his calabash. You told me he would come to this far-off spot to see me. I rejoiced; I disbelieved his coming; but I said, 'He may.' I built the chapel; we waited, expecting. You slept at nights; I did not. He came; he came forth from the long forests; he stood upon Te Hawera ground. I saw him; I shook hands with him; we rubbed noses together. Yes; I saw a missionary's face; I sat in his cloth house; I tasted his new food; I heard him talk Maori. My heart bounded within me. I listened, I ate his words. You slept at nights; I did not. I listened, and he told me about God and His Son Jesus Christ, and of peace and reconciliation, and of a Father's house beyond the stars: and now I, too, drank from his calabash, and was refreshed. He gave me a book, too, as well as words. I laid hold of the new riches for me and for you; and we have it now. My children, I am old; my hair is white, the yellow leaf is falling from the tawai tree. I am departing; the sun is sinking behind the great western hills; it will soon be night. But hear me: do you hold fast the new riches—the great riches—the true riches. We have had plenty of sin and pain and death; and we have been troubled by many—by our neighbours and relatives; but we have the true riches: hold fast the true riches that Karepa has sought for you!"
How can we account for all this? Must we not say that these were indeed the "Years of the right hand of the Most High"?
The native bent of the Maori mind caused the people, as they embraced Christianity, gradually to place themselves as a matter of course under the guidance of a sort of Christian theocracy. It was under the auspices of this mild missionary regime—which, if a government, was a very singular one, seeing that there were no laws, and an almost total absence of crime—that the first British Governor set foot on the shores of New Zealand.
Hardly had Henry Williams returned to Paihia from his great journey through the heart of the island, when a warship arrived in the Bay, bearing Captain William Hobson with a commission from Queen Victoria, authorising him to annex the country to the British Crown. A not very friendly historian (Saunders) has summed up the situation at this point by saying that, on his arrival, Hobson fell into the hands of the Reverend Henry Williams, and obligingly admits that he might have fallen into worse ones. As a matter of fact, the captain could have done but little had he not secured the co-operation of this influential missionary. Rusden speaks no more than the truth when he declares that "Henry had but to raise his finger, and his mana would have weighed more with the Maoris than the devices of Colonel Wakefield or the office of Hobson."
The first act of the new official was to gather the northern chiefs on the lawn in front of the British Residency, on the other side of the river from Paihia, and to lay before them the famous document known as the Treaty of Waitangi. It is sometimes asserted that Henry Williams was really the author of this treaty. That would seem to be an error, but he may have been consulted in the drafting of the document; and there can be no question but that it was his influence which induced the chiefs to sign it. It was he who interpreted to the Maoris the provisions of the treaty, and the speech in which Hobson commended it to their acceptance; and it was he and the other missionaries who secured the signatures of the chiefs in other parts of the island. Whatever may be thought of the policy of this momentous document—securing as it did to the native race the full possession of their lands and properties under the British flag—it is a standing witness to the influence of the missionaries, and to the trust which the Maoris had come to place in their integrity and benevolence of purpose.
The one place where the treaty was opposed was the new English settlement of Wellington, where the settlers stigmatised it as "a device to amuse the savages," and proceeded to set up a rival government of their own. Henry Williams went once more therefore to Port Nicholson, and succeeded in getting the treaty signed by the chiefs of that place. Thus supported, Hobson now felt himself strong enough to proclaim the Queen's sovereignty over the country, and himself became its first Governor. He had no military force to depend upon, and he ruled the country through the missionaries. His tenure of office was embittered by the constant opposition of the Company at Wellington, as well as by the difficulties natural to such a position; and he was harassed into his grave within two years of his arrival. But this period may be looked upon as the climax of missionary influence in New Zealand. After 1842, mission work went on extending, but the old workers no longer occupied the forefront of the stage.
Before they retire into the background to make room for other figures, it will be well therefore to cast a glance over their work and its methods, their characters and their example. The position which they held was in many ways unique, and though their age lies not so far behind us in point of time, it really belongs to an order of things quite different from our own.
The first point of contrast with our present somewhat overgoverned society is the absence of authority. The missionaries and settlers were sent out to a wild country to do the best they could. The bishops of the Church in England did not claim, nor believe that they possessed, any jurisdiction over them. The direction of the mission lay with the Committee of the C.M.S., but unless it sent out a sentence of dismissal, what could such a distant body do? If it sent out instructions to New Zealand, no answer could be expected for a whole year, during which time circumstances might have altogether changed. Short of actual dismissal, its power of discipline was but slight. Much of its power must of necessity be delegated to Marsden in Australia, but Marsden's authority was limited in the same way, though not quite to the same extent. He could not visit the mission often, nor could he secure that his instructions should be obeyed. As a matter of fact they were often not obeyed. "I know nothing I can say will have any influence upon their minds," he once wrote in despair; "they have followed their own way too long, and despise all the orders that have been given them by their superiors." This censure applied to certain individuals among the first settlers, and when one reads the letters and journals of these same men, one cannot help feeling some sympathy with them in their position. Possibly Marsden, with his exceptional powers, expected rather much of average human nature. But the point is that the position of an early missionary was an independent one. There was no civil government at all, and the instructions from ecclesiastical superiors were necessarily infrequent, often lacking in knowledge, never quite up to date, and backed by no compelling force except the threat of "disconnection" from the Society.
Under such circumstances everything depended on the personalities of the men themselves. Those who came before 1823 were on the whole disappointing. Marsden frequently compared them to the twelve spies who all failed, excepting Caleb and Joshua. Unfortunately he never lets us know who his "Caleb" and his "Joshua" were. But one of them can hardly have been other than the young schoolmaster, Francis Hall, whose letters reveal a singularly earnest and beautiful spirit. Even he, however, admits the demoralising influence of the surrounding paganism—an influence which none wholly escaped, and before which some actually succumbed. "I feel in myself," quaintly writes another, "a great want of that spirituality of mind which New Zealand is so very unfavourable for; because of the continual scenes of evil that there is before our eyes, and for want of Christian society. So that you must excuse my barrenness of writing, and give me all the Christian advice you can."
The most interesting personality among these first settlers was Kendall. Wayward and erring, passionate and ungovernable as he was, a close study of his letters shows a depth of sin and penitence, together with a breadth and boldness of philosophical speculation, which fascinates the reader. Alone among the missionaries he seems to have tried to approach the Maori from his own side, and to enter the inmost recesses of his thought: "I am now, after a long, anxious, and painful study, arriving at the very foundation and groundwork of the Cannibalism and Superstitions of these Islanders. All their notions are metaphysical, and I have been so poisoned with the apparent sublimity of their ideas, that I have been almost completely turned from a Christian to a heathen." Like the ancient Gnostics, Kendall tried to combine Christianity with a sublimated version of pagan superstitions; and if moral restrictions stood in the way, he cast them aside. "I was reduced," he says, "to a state so dreadful that I had given myself entirely up, and was utterly regardless of what would become both of body and soul."
The details of his strange career cannot, of course, be given here. He has been represented as an utter hypocrite, and evidence is not wanting to give colour to the charge. But another and more favourable view is not only possible: it is forced upon anyone who studies his self-revelation through his letters. He seems to have hoped that his ordination would have given him moral strength and stability, but he had to admit that he had never been so strongly tempted to sin, so unable to resist it, or so ingloriously foiled, as since his return from England. Marsden's sharp exercise of discipline, though it elicited outbursts of passion, seems to have had a healing effect. "Blessed be God," he writes, "who has certainly undertaken for me. His sharp rebuke has laid me low; yet why should I repine, since He has inclined me to seek His face again?" Upon his expulsion from the mission, he retired to a house he had built at "Pater Noster Valley," and after a few months left the country. His great services in reducing the Maori language to written form have hardly been sufficiently recognised. Marsden, like the other settlers, could never adapt himself to the Italian vowel sounds, and at his request Kendall wrote out a new vocabulary on a different system; but he soon found it unsatisfactory, and returned to the principles which he had worked out with Professor Lee. For the rest of his life—in South America and in Australia—he still tried to perfect his Maori Grammar. But the tragedy of his life outweighs the value of his philological efforts. If ever a New Zealand Goethe should arise, he may find the materials for his Faust in the history of Thomas Kendall.
From the date of the new beginning of the mission in 1823, its agents were, for the most part, men of a superior type. Yate, indeed, one of the ablest amongst them, was accused on a charge of which he never could, or perhaps would, clear himself. He was accordingly "disconnected" by the Society, but a certain doubt hangs over the issue; and his after life was spent in useful and honourable service as chaplain to the seamen at Dover. The rest of the new workers did excellent service for the mission, and most of them lived to an old age in the country. Remarkable for their linguistic capacity stand out William Williams, who translated the New Testament; and Robert Maunsell, who followed with the Old. This remarkable man took all possible pains to gather the correct idioms for his task—sometimes by engaging the Maoris in argument, sometimes by watching them at their sports. The passion for accuracy was strong in him to extreme old age, and even on his death-bed he interrupted the ministrations of his parish priest with the startling question, "Don't you know that that is a mistranslation?"
Apart from translation work, the missionaries had little inclination or ability for literary pursuits. Some of them (e.g., W. Williams, Yate, and Colenso) took an interest in the plants and animals of their adopted country, but for the most part the missionary was a man of one book, and that book was the Bible. Life was too serious a thing to allow of attention to the literary graces. The place where his lot was cast was in a special sense the realm of Satan. The evidences of demonic activity lay all around. On the one hand were the sickening scenes of slaughter and cannibalism; on the other were the evil lives of sailors and traders of his own race. Now and then the great Enemy would draw nearer still, and one of his own comrades would fall a prey. His own religion was of a somewhat austere type. His calendar was unmarked by fast or festival; he had few opportunities of participating in a joyous Eucharist; there was no colour in his raupo chapel, nor variety in his manner of worship.
The home life of the missionary doubtless often presented a picture of domestic happiness. But there were no luxuries. If he wished to vary the daily routine of pork and potatoes, he must try to obtain some fish or native game. Failing these, he had only his own garden and poultry-yard to look to. Soldiers' rations of coarse groceries were served out from the Society's stores, but everything else must be bought out of his slender income—£50 if a married man (unordained), or £30 if a bachelor. Often in the earlier days, while the Maoris were still unfriendly, even pork and potatoes were not to be had. More than once Henry Williams and his family were brought to the verge of starvation.
In spite of these and other privations, the health of the missionaries was good and their families were large. No death occurred among them until 1837, when Mrs. R. Davis was called to her rest. Dangers abounded on every hand, yet accidents were rare. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Davis were lost at sea; Marsden was wrecked on the Brampton reef, but escaped unhurt with all his party. Henry Williams passed through a terrible experience when returning from Tauranga in 1832. For two days his little vessel had been enveloped in driving rain and had been blown quite out of her course, when the missionary, who had been praying through the whole night, seeing at daybreak a rock immediately ahead, fell back upon his old nautical skill, seized the tiller in his own hands, and just succeeded in saving the craft from destruction.
It was this imminent peril that raised in the mind of Henry Williams the question of how to make provision for his numerous family in case of his death. Like most of his colleagues, he had sons growing to manhood, and was anxious to do his duty by them. He could have sent them to England, but this would have meant a life-long separation between parents and children; to Sydney, but this would involve their exposure to the temptations of a convict settlement. He therefore decided to buy some land near to Paihia, and on this to settle his sons. The Maoris were pleased to sell him the land, and the Home Committee approved of the scheme. Several of the other missionaries did likewise. The plan seems a reasonable one, and it received the approbation of Bishop Broughton, on the condition that the lands so obtained should be strictly devoted to the use of the children, and not to that of their parents. But it has brought upon the missionary body, and upon Henry Williams in particular, the reproach of land-speculating—a reproach which is still reiterated by modern historians such as Saunders and Collier. Fortunately, an incident occurred at the close of our period which is enough to furnish a decisive test, at least in the case of Henry Williams.
One of the first acts of Governor Hobson was to seek for a site for the capital of the new Colony. Wellington was vetoed by the Home Government, and the only other European town was Kororareka in the Bay of Islands. In this place or its neighbourhood the governor would doubtless have fixed his headquarters, had it not been for Henry Williams. This sagacious man had long noted the magnificent possibilities of the Waitemata Harbour, and on being asked his advice he took the governor to the spot. Hobson at once saw the value of the position, and selected the place where the city of Auckland was soon to rise. But before he could buy the land from its Maori possessors, he was disabled by a stroke of illness, and returned invalided to find nursing and medical attention at the mission station of Waimate. During the period of his convalescence he fixed his abode at Russell—a house just opposite to Paihia—and the Auckland scheme was left in abeyance. Speculators were busy about other suggested localities in the Bay of Islands, but the real site was known only to Henry Williams and to the governor himself.
What a chance was here for a speculator! Never, perhaps, before or since, has such an opportunity occurred. Williams, with his unrivalled influence over the Maoris, might have bought up large tracts of land near the new site. If the charges against him are true, this is what he would have done. As a matter of fact, he never acquired a single acre of land in that district. He suffered the seat of government to be removed a hundred miles away from his own doors to a place where he did not possess, or try to possess, a single foot. This fact should surely set at rest for ever the question of the disinterestedness of Henry Williams.
Land-buying was not the only fault of which the missionaries were accused. An English artist, Earle, visited New Zealand in 1827, and on his return published an account of his travels, in which he accused the church clergy of churlishness and inhospitality. Yet these same men were the ones who came to his assistance when his house was burned, and supplied all his wants to the full. This fact Mr. Earle does not mention, and has not a favourable word to say on behalf of those who had befriended him.
A very different visitor arrived some eight years later in the research-vessel Beagle. This was Charles Darwin, whose name had not yet achieved renown, but who was already distinguished for that philosophical temperament and keen observation which make his judgment to be of exceptional value. He speaks of "the gentlemanlike, useful, and upright characters" of the missionaries; expresses his admiration of the civilised appearance of Waimate; and finds in the results thus achieved the best ground for hope for the future of the country. He had evidently been previously impressed by Earle's denunciations, and was even surprised to see one of the missionaries' sons playing cricket with the Maori scholars. The mention of this little incident was doubtless intended to soften the impression of extreme austerity, and is not without its value to this end. But it does not go very far to modify the picture of old-fashioned gravity and severity. In modern times the missionaries would have been playing in the game themselves.
On the whole, the reports which reached the mother country were favourable, and caused great rejoicing among the friends of the mission staff. But there was one doubt which agitated the minds of a certain circle of English society, and that was as to the churchmanship of the New Zealand mission. Its agents were good men, and had achieved astonishing success; but had they kept up the distinctive tone and system of the mother Church? Were they distinguishable from the Methodists by whose side they laboured? No treatment of the subject can be considered complete which omits this feature of the situation.
Undoubtedly there was some justification for the fears entertained in the Home land. Marsden himself had been born and brought up in a Methodist family. From this, as a young man, he had passed without sense of break or violent change into a church school, and thence to Cambridge, where he was associated with the Evangelical leaders, who emphasised the individual rather than the corporate aspect of the Church's teaching. We have seen that in 1819 he sent over a Methodist preacher to report upon and to stimulate his nagging workers. He was not in favour of the Methodists sending a mission of their own to New Zealand, but when in 1822 his friend Mr. Leigh determined to settle in the country, Marsden put no obstacles in his way. Not only so, but in 1823 Marsden himself brought over Leigh's colleagues, Hobbs and Turner, who established their station at Whangaroa, after consultation with the settlers at the Bay of Islands. The stations were not far apart, and constant brotherly intercourse was maintained between the occupants. When the Wesleyans fled from their homes in the turmoil of 1827, it was to Kerikeri and Paihia that they betook themselves in the first place, and it was Marsden's parsonage at Parramatta that sheltered them afterwards. It was by Marsden's advice that they settled at Hokianga on their return, and they always looked forward to his visits as eagerly as did their brethren at the Bay of Islands. He himself rejoiced to receive them to the Holy Communion; their converts were admitted to the same holy ordinance at Waimate and Paihia; the missionaries preached without hesitation in one another's pulpits. So anxious were the leaders on both sides to spare the Maoris the spectacle of Christian disunion, and to emphasise the fact that they baptised not in their own name but in that of their common Master, that on the occasion of the reception into the fold of the great chief Waka Nene and his brother, Patuone, they arranged that Patuone, who belonged to the Methodists, should be baptised by the church clergy, while Waka, who was an adherent of the church mission, should receive the sacred ordinance at the hands of the Wesleyans.
Highly irregular! some will exclaim. But there are important considerations which must be kept in mind. In the first place, the unhappy separation between the Methodist body and the historic Church had not then assumed the hard and fast character which it bears to-day. The followers of Wesley were still in fairly close touch with Wesley's mother Church; they still occupied, to a large extent, the position of a voluntary order within the established framework. They used the Book of Common Prayer at their services, and taught the Church Catechism to their children. And in New Zealand they looked up to Marsden as their apostle, and were guided in their operations by his disinterested advice. Nor should it be forgotten that the agents of the C.M.S. were mostly laymen. Setting aside Hadfield, Mason, and Burrows, who all appeared upon the scene near the close of our period, there were but four ordained clergy during the years of co-operation between the two societies, viz., Brown and Maunsell and the brothers Williams. Nor did the "historic episcopate" present any obstacle to intercommunion. No bishop was seen in the land until the end of 1838, and then his stay was but short. There was accordingly no question as to the necessity of confirmation as a qualification for communion. Confirmation simply could not be had. Candidates were admitted to the Eucharist after long and careful probation. Bishop Broughton, who was a High Churchman and a disciplinarian, found that his misgivings as to the churchmanship of the mission were unfounded. A few things were irregular, as of course they were likely to be in an isolated community which had been cut off from the rest of the world for a quarter of a century, but at the end of his visit the bishop could express his conviction that everything would be easily set right by a bishop residing on the spot.
On the whole, the relations between the two bodies seem to have been marked by true wisdom as well as by Christian sympathy. But the harmony was not perfect. When the Wesleyan missionaries transferred their operations from Whangaroa on the east coast to Hokianga on the west, they seem to have taken it for granted that the whole of the west coast was to be reserved for them, while the east was to be the sphere of the Church. But the physical features of the island were opposed to such an arrangement. Nearly all the rivers from the interior run westwards, and the missionaries in following the movements of their people sometimes found themselves by the western sea. The first instance of this tendency was in the Waikato district, where, as we have seen, Hamlin and Maunsell were drawn to the Manukau Harbour and the Waikato Heads. The result was a confusion of operations. The Wesleyans had established stations further to the south on the Kawhia and Raglan harbours, and thus barred the operations of Maunsell in this direction. Much correspondence ensued with the Home authorities, and for a time the Wesleyans withdrew from their posts. Eventually, however, a treaty was signed at Mangungu in 1837 by Henry Williams on the one hand, and the Rev. N. Turner on the other. By this agreement the harbours of Raglan and Kawhia, with the hinterland as far eastwards as the Waikato and Waipa rivers, were definitively included within the Wesleyan sphere of influence. Nothing was said about the coast to the southward, and there was nothing whatever to prevent the settlement of Hadfield at Waikanae and Otaki in 1839, nor that of Mason at Wanganui in 1840. The idea, however, of "the West Coast for the Wesleyans" still survived in some minds, and there were those who resented the settlement of Hadfield and Mason on "their" coast as an unfriendly act. These two excellent missionaries were also violently attacked by one of the younger Wesleyans in Taranaki, apparently through ignorance of the Church's position. The ultimate settlement of the boundaries was reached by tacitly recognising all the west coast north of Wanganui (excepting of course Maunsell's district) as lying in the Methodist sphere, and all south of Wanganui as included in that of the Church.
These differences in the south-west of the island hardly disturbed the comity which prevailed in the north. A more serious trouble, however, arose in this region when a Roman Catholic mission appeared there in 1838. In that year a French bishop and a band of priests landed at Hokianga, and afterwards moved to Kororareka, right in the centre of the Bay of Islands. As in other parts of the world, so here, the Romanists passed over the unoccupied territory and planted themselves in the midst of occupied ground, where they proceeded to upset the congregations of the older workers. For a time they drew away many of the converts to their side. But the Maoris were shrewd men, and several of them by this time knew their New Testament by heart. When the Roman teachers condemned the English missionaries for having wives and children, the Maoris were ready with an effective answer from the example of St. Peter, the married apostle. They held their own in argument, and eventually drew back most of their brethren to the Church of the earlier instructors who had borne the burden and heat of the day, and proved their faith by their sufferings and their works.
What those works and sufferings were has already been partly described in the course of this narrative. But there is one passage in the literature of the period which is too graphic to omit. It relates to the adventures of two of the lesser characters among the missionaries, and it illustrates both the hardships which they sometimes underwent and also the nature of the Maori mind.
It was in 1835 that Wilson and Fairburn heard of the dangerous position of a party of women and children belonging to the Waikato tribe. They were encamped on a stream called Maramarua, and a strong taua, or fighting party, was preparing to set off from the mouth of the river Thames, with the object of cutting off the retreat of these unsuspecting people. The two missionaries determined to baulk this scheme, and by rowing all night succeeded in getting ahead of the pursuers. Next day they had a toilsome walk of many hours. The taua was on their track, the way was longer than they expected, and only by a few seconds did they at last succeed in giving warning to the Waikatos, and thus saving their lives. But now the baulked hunters had to be reckoned with. Respect for the white man kept them from actual violence, but as night came on the situation was a decidedly difficult one. Wilson's journal continues thus:
"It was now nearly dark, the rain and wind increasing, and the only shelter was the long, narrow shed, partly finished—half of the roof still uncovered. This hovel was about 18 feet long, 9 wide, and 7 feet in height. The natives, to make up for the rain which came through in every direction, lit two fires with green wood, near each end of the house, which filled it with smoke. Into this the taua, about thirty men, entered, and began to take off their wet garments and crouch round the fires; and into this pleasant abode for the night we, too, with our four natives, had to creep: it was either this or remain outside in a winter easterly gale. After a time we attempted to dry some of our clothes by one of the fires, but the smoke was so intolerable, and the heat of the place so great, notwithstanding it was only half roofed, that we were obliged to lie down with our faces nearly touching the earth. We remained in silence a long time, perhaps two or three hours, not a word being addressed to us, either by the chief, or his followers; this by no means a good omen in native etiquette and custom. We had brought no provisions with us, supposing Maramarua to be nearer to the coast; and after long waiting to see the mind of the taua and how things would be, we at last were about to lie down to try to sleep, to forget our hunger, lodging, and society. Now, it is an established custom in New Zealand never to begin or end the day without prayer, and though in this wretched predicament, Mr. Fairburn proposed that we should thus close the day. The armed men were sitting moodily by the fires, when we signified our wish to our people, who were all Christians. This night's service will never be forgotten by me; it was commenced by singing the sixth native hymn, the first words of which are:
Homai e Ihu he ngakau, kia rongo atu ai,
Ki tau tino aroha nui, i whakakitia mai.
"The hymn—an invocation to Christ for the Holy Spirit's aid to regenerate the natural heart, and impress it with love to God—I had often heard and sung; but never before had it come home to me with such reality, or sounded with such sweetness and power, as in this solemn appeal to the Most High.... We then prayed for this dark world, its sorrowing and erring children, that the God of mercy would be graciously pleased to bring them to a knowledge of himself; and after thanks for the mercies of the day, we commended ourselves to God. Our simple service over, we said no more. For a time all remained quiet; none seemed willing to interrupt the silence in this strange place and on this still stranger occasion; nothing was heard but the storm, which appeared to be tearing the remainder of the roof from the shed, and the rain rattling against the raupo. The taua seemed as if struck by the fabled wand of some mighty magician! Their former reserve and low whispering ceased; and after a while they began to talk quietly to each other, and shortly afterwards they spoke to ourselves and to our natives. The gloom had passed away, their countenances became altered; and they now began to prepare some refreshments. Each of the taua had carried at his back a small flax basket of potatoes, containing some three or four handfuls. Of this slender stock they passed along (for there was no moving for want of room) a liberal share for ourselves and our natives. After this the pig was cut up and roasted; but, faint and hungry as I was, it was nearly impossible to eat it. And now all restraint was thrown off, and the Maoris conversed freely and pleasantly. So the night wore on, better than it had begun. At last, cold and weary, overpowered by the smoke, I fell asleep on a bundle of bullrushes; and when I awoke, I found that I had been sleeping unconsciously on one of the men's heads."
Incidents such as this did not, of course, happen every day; but this one is typical in that it shows the religious character of the Maori. Here is a war-party who start out with the object of shooting down a number of unsuspecting people. They come back talking in quite friendly fashion with the men who had baulked them of their prey. What had worked the change? Simply the singing of a hymn. Where could we find stronger evidence of a disposition naturally religious, or a more striking instance of the divine guardianship?
In trying to trace the causes of the wonderful spread of Christianity among this ferocious people, it is natural to think first of the combination of benefits which the missionaries were able to bring. They stood for all the knowledge and civilisation of the outside world, as well as for the message of a world to come. They had no telephones, no motor cars, nor even matches; but they brought tools of iron and of steel, they had strange animals and plants, they used glass and china and wool and cotton, and above all they learned from books. Such marks of power could not fail to tell upon a shrewd people like the Maoris. The most intelligent of the chiefs, without at all understanding the truths of Christianity, were at once attracted by these signs of mechanical and intellectual superiority. We have seen how much the mission was indebted to the three great generals of New Zealand—Hongi in the north, Waharoa in the centre, and Rauparaha in the south—for the main steps of its advance. It might seem at first as though the explanation of Maori Christianity were a fairly simple matter.
Yet such a conclusion would be very far removed from the truth. Undoubtedly the prestige of the white man's civilisation gave a valuable leverage at first, as in the notable case of Ruatara. Undoubtedly also, many of the common people were simply swept along by the current when once it grew strong enough to make itself felt. But the earliest real converts were old men, delicate girls, consumptive lads, and wretched slaves, whose hearts were caught not by axes and blankets, but by the message of a Father's love and of a home beyond the stars. The Maori was a religious being, and when his old faith failed him in the hour of need, he turned to the new gospel of certitude and hope. Nobler spirits among the race were drawn also by the social side of the new teaching; they saw in it a prospect of ridding the land of desolating wars; but in each case it was the true power of Christianity that operated, not the adventitious blessings which it brought in its train.
Very interesting, as evidences of the heartfelt piety of the early converts, are the letters which many of them wrote to Yate on the eve of his journey to England. There is surely nothing of a merely conventional goodness about such language as this: "I have this day, and many days, kneeled down, and my mouth has whispered and has said loud prayers; but I wish to know, and am saying within me, if I have prayed with my heart. Say you, if I have prayed to God with my heart, should I say No, and not do His bidding, as the Bible says we must and tells us how? And should I flutter about here like a bird without wings, or like a beast without legs, or like a fish whose tail and fins a native man has cut off, if I had love in my heart towards God? Oh! I wish that I was not all lip and mouth in my prayers to God. I am thinking that I may be likened to stagnant water, that is not good, that nobody drinks, and that does not run down in brooks, upon the banks of which kumara and trees grow. My heart is all rock, all rock, and no good thing will grow upon it. The lizard and the snail run over the rocks, and all evil runs over my heart."
The anxious and self-accusing spirit which appears in this passage deepens as the soul passes under the awe of the sacramental presence. "My Teacher," writes another, "I have been many moons thinking about the holy feast which Jesus Christ gave to His disciples, and told everybody to eat it in remembrance of Him. It is not a natives' feast; for in New Zealand everybody eats as much as he is able, and as fast as he is able; but this is a feast of belief. If my body were hungry, I should not be satisfied with a piece like a crumb, nor with a drop that will go in a cockle shell; but my soul is satisfied, my heart is satisfied, though it be a crumb and a drop. The thoughts within me yesterday were perhaps right, and perhaps wrong. I said to myself, I am going to eat and to drink at a table placed before us by the Great Chief of the world. I must be very good, and must make myself good within; or, when He sees me, He will show that He is angry. And then I thought, I will not think anything that is not right, nor do anything that is not straight to-day; and then, God will see that my heart is becoming good. But, Mr. Yate, perhaps you will, and perhaps you will not, believe it: I thought no good thoughts, and I did no good works all day; and yet I was still, and not angry with myself, no, not at all. Now, my Teacher, you say what I am to do, before the next day of the Lord's Supper. I think I must pray to God for a new heart, and for His Holy Spirit."
This honest confession agrees with the observations of many outside observers of the change wrought in the Maoris by their new religion. Not all received the "new heart." Indeed, to judge from the accounts of men like Wakefield and Fox, the old heart was hardly touched by the new doctrines. The Christian Maoris were blamed for covetousness and insolence, for dishonesty and lying. "Give me the good old Maori who has never been under missionary influence," was the feeling of many of the colonists. It was the same complaint as is heard in every mission field. But calmer and more unprejudiced observers give a different verdict. The Bishop of Australia reported: "In speaking of the character of the converted natives, I express most unequivocally my persuasion that it has been improved, in comparison with the original disposition, by their acquaintance with the truths of the Gospel. Their haughty self-will, their rapacity, furiousness, and sanguinary inclination have been softened—I may even say, eradicated; and their superstitious opinions have given place, in many instances, to a correct apprehension of the spiritual tendencies of the Gospel. Their chief remaining vices appeared to me to be indolence, duplicity, and covetousness."
In mentioning these three prevailing vices, the bishop lays his finger upon faults which the lover of the Maori has still to deplore. His tendency to indolence shows that Marsden's insistence on industrial training was sound in theory, though not easy to carry out in practice. Highly endowed as the Maori was in many respects, he found it hard to copy the white man in his regular and even life of toil. The Maori was in fact the Greek of the south. Intellectually he was brilliant, and his memory was nothing short of marvellous. Somewhat later than our period, an English surveyor on the west coast of the South Island was disturbed in his camp by a party of Maoris who had come from Ahaura in the valley of the upper Grey. They had never seen a white man before, but they had picked up some knowledge from other Maoris who had come overland from Port Cooper. During the night, "they commenced the recital of the morning service; before morning they had repeated the Litany four times, the whole version of the Psalms, three or four creeds, and a marriage service, and then the whole morning service again." Men who could do this might surely be expected to be equal to anything. Altogether, the unfolding of the Maori nature at this time was such as to arouse the highest hopes for his future greatness. To the friends of the mission in England it seemed as though the angels' songs over a repentant nation could be almost heard. Their orators, like Hugh Stowell, indulged in rhapsodies over the isle "now lovely in grace as she is beauteous in nature"; and even a philosophic thinker like Julius Hare could give it as his deliberate opinion that, for many centuries to come, historians would look back to the establishment of a Christian empire in New Zealand as the greatest achievement of the first part of the nineteenth century.
THE BEGINNINGS OF THE NEW ORDER.
Replenish the earth, and subdue it.
The missionaries had worked wonders in New Zealand, but the very success of their work proved to be its undoing. Now that the islands were safe and quiet, they attracted a rush of white settlers who were eager for land and gain. Instead of whalers and flax traders, whose settlements were only temporary, there appeared farmers and artisans who had fled from the misery of the mother country to found for themselves permanent homes in the "Britain of the South."
Many of the immigrants came singly from Australia, but from the year 1839 the New Zealand Company sent thousands of settlers in more or less organised fashion to the country on either side of Cook Strait, to Wellington, Nelson, and New Plymouth. This company was founded by the celebrated Edward Gibbon Wakefield, a man who had read and thought much upon the subject of colonisation. His views reflected fairly the public sentiment of the day. The colonists should be grouped in communities for mutual help and safety; they should have churches and clergy and as much religion as sensible men required at home; the rights of the dark-skinned inhabitants of the soil should not be altogether ignored, but neither should they be allowed to stand in the way of progress and expansion. The world was made for the Englishman: if the Maori came between them, so much the worse for him.
Such projects might well alarm the friends of the Maori, both in England and in New Zealand. They could not blind themselves to the fact that the coming of the white man had almost everywhere led to the disappearance of the coloured races from the earth. The influential friends of the Church Missionary Society accordingly opposed the New Zealand Company's plans in parliament, and prevented it from obtaining government recognition. Its emigrants went forth from their native land against the wishes of the authorities, and they naturally carried with them a prejudice against the cause of missions. On their arrival they were received by the missionaries with mixed feelings. Natural instinct led them to welcome the sight of men of their own race, but their minds misgave them when they thought of the effect which would be produced upon their converts. The Maoris were not yet grounded and settled in the faith: they looked up to their spiritual teachers for guidance in all the matters of life. Their faith was that of children, and for the time their safety lay in their child-like submissiveness to their teachers. How long would this happy state continue, if anything should dispel the veneration in which the missionary had hitherto been held?
The coming of white men had so far brought little but trouble. Kororareka was the one European settlement before the founding of Wellington, and Kororareka was looked upon as a sink of iniquity. A church had been built there by the missionaries, but some of the townspeople had approached Bishop Broughton with a petition that he would appoint someone other than a missionary to officiate within it. At Port Nicholson we have seen how Henry Williams had been roused by the high-handed proceedings of Colonel Wakefield. Hadfield had indeed won the respect of the colonists by his high sense of honour, and his readiness to use his influence with the Maoris on their behalf; but it remains true, on the whole, that the opposite ends of the island were set against each other—missionaries and Government in the north over against colonists and Company in the south.
Such was the condition of affairs on May 29th, 1842, when there arrived in Auckland the Right Reverend George Augustus Selwyn to take up the position of bishop of the divided flock. This remarkable man was then in the prime of early manhood, and he brought with him not only a lithe athletic frame well fitted to endure hardship; not only the culture of Cambridge and of Eton, where he had learned and taught, and the courtly atmosphere of Windsor, where he had exercised his ministry; but above all he brought with him ideals. These took the form of a strong centralised government in the Church. While yet a curate, he had attracted attention by his vigorous defence of the cathedral system, through which he proposed to govern the whole Church of England. But his thoughts had travelled far beyond the bounds of a merely national Church. Stirred by the spectacle (alluded to in our Introduction) of the dominance of Mohammedanism in the lands of the East, he had dreamed of himself as Bishop of Malta, or some other Mediterranean post, whence he might lead a new crusade into North Africa, and win back the home of St. Cyprian and St. Augustine to the faith of Christ. Curiously enough, some such scheme was actually on foot at the time of his consecration (Oct. 17, 1841), and one of his first episcopal acts was to join in laying hands on a bishop who was sent out to Jerusalem to endeavour to stir the languid religion of the mother city of Christendom. Being chosen to read the epistle on this occasion, Selwyn had selected the passage which tells of the Apostle Paul's last journey to the Holy City; and he had thrown such intensity of feeling into his reading of the words, "Behold, I go bound in the Spirit unto Jerusalem," that some of the other prelates were in tears. But he was not the man to grieve over what could not be altered. If it was not to be his lot to be sent to the ancient city of Zion as its bishop, he would bravely set forth to a very different field, and would endeavour to build a new Jerusalem at the uttermost ends of the earth.
His coming was eagerly looked for by both sides. The Wellington settlers confidently expected that he would fix his residence among them, and give to their colony that seal of legality which it had hitherto lacked. The New Zealand Company had been largely instrumental in carrying the bishopric bill through the Imperial Parliament; it had made large promises of financial assistance: now it looked for the support of the bishop in its struggle with missionaries and officials. But the new bishop was not minded to become a dignified ornament of the Wellington settlement. To build his new Jerusalem he needed "an entrenched camp," and for this he must have a spiritual atmosphere, and he must have living material and suitable buildings. Instead, therefore, of going to the colonial south, he turned first in the direction of the missionary north. In less than a month after his arrival in his diocese, he had reached the Bay of Islands; he had captivated Henry Williams (who wrote, "I am afraid to say how delighted I am"); and had resolved to make his entrenched camp at Waimate, the most eligible and beautiful of the missionary stations. Here were fertile land and a farming establishment; here was a school for missionaries' children, which he might easily convert into a college; here was a church whose spire rose gracefully above the surrounding trees; here was a religious atmosphere already in existence.
But the bishop had no intention of leaving the European settlements untended. Before forming his central establishment at Waimate, he undertook a thorough visitation of his diocese, or at least of every part of it in which church work was being carried on. In order to appreciate the magnitude of his task, it will be well to take a bird's-eye view of the whole scene.
The North Island was by this time fairly well known. Though the Maori race had been terribly reduced in numbers since the coming of Marsden in 1814, still their pas were to be found in every fertile bay round the coast, up every river valley, and round the lakes of the interior. Large areas of uninhabited country were to be found in the inland regions, but these were either too mountainous, too barren, or too heavily timbered for such an ease-loving race. The Maoris clustered in greatest numbers round the warm springs of Rotorua, on the coast to the east, and in the extreme north; but their most powerful warrior was Rauparaha, who had migrated (as before explained) to the island of Kapiti. The tribes were all Christian, or ready to become so, and Selwyn in all his travels seldom found a professing heathen.
The South Island was still little known, except at the extreme north and the extreme south. At the north, the town of Nelson had just been founded, and farming had begun on the Waimea Plains. In the south, Maoris and whalers lived an isolated life on the harbours and islands of Foveaux Strait. A few whaling stations were dotted along the east coast of the island, but the maps of the time show the ignorance that prevailed. The sea is represented as covering the whole district in which the town of Christchurch now stands; mythical bays indent the coast; while the interior is marked simply by "high mountains supposed to be covered with perpetual snow," and "greenstone lakes" which occur in unexpected places.
The one spot in this region which might have redeemed its otherwise inhospitable character was the harbour of Akaroa, where a French colony had lately made its home. But this bit of old France had nothing to do with the rest of the country. The settlers went their own way, planting their vines and their fig-trees, propagating the willow slips which they had gathered on their outward voyage at Napoleon's grave, and turning their eyes to the French warship which lay in their harbour, rather than to the Union Jack which floated on the shore.
Of the two races which formed his flock, there could be no question as to which needed the bishop's attention first. The Maoris were well cared for by the missionaries, but for the white settlers very little had been done. The number of these was considerable. There were over 3,000 of them at Wellington and Petone, over 2,000 at Nelson, and 1,900 at Auckland; while the smaller towns of New Plymouth and Wanganui contained some hundreds of inhabitants. Not being "heathens," they did not come within the regular sphere of the Church Missionary Society, and the English bishops did not show themselves eager to co-operate with Wakefield and his Company. The old Church Society "for the Propagation of the Gospel," which was afterwards to give generous help to the New Zealand settlements, had sent out one chaplain (the Rev. J. F. Churton) with the first Wellington settlers; but he had received so little support that after nine months he had left the town, "an impoverished man." Making his way to Auckland, this clergyman had there met with a much better reception, and his congregation had at once commenced to build a large and substantial church. This church (St. Paul's) was in process of erection when the bishop reached Auckland.
Meanwhile the Company's settlements were left without any regular clerical ministrations. The bishop had brought out with him from England a band of clergy, and these he resolved to plant in the various colonial towns. Leaving one of these, with a student, to proceed direct to Wellington, he himself sailed for Nelson on July 28th, 1842, with the Rev. C. L. Reay. Arriving on the following Sunday, he preached at once in the immigration barrack. For the next Sunday's services he availed himself of a large tent which an English friend had given him. This was fitted up with every requisite for divine service, and the bishop saw it filled with a good congregation. One of the colonists (the Rev. C. Saxton) was found to be a clergyman who had already provided occasional services. The bishop therefore, having chosen a site for a church on the beautiful elevation in the heart of the town, was able to leave this lovely spot with a good hope of its future progress.
Very different were his feelings when he crossed the strait to Wellington. It seemed as though the cause of the Church were doomed to disappointment in this most populous of the New Zealand towns. The two men whom the bishop had sent in advance, he found at death's door from typhus fever, contracted amidst the insanitary conditions of a new settlement. The bishop devoted himself to nursing the invalids, and had the happiness of seeing one of them (the Rev. R. Cole) restored to health. But Willie Evans, the student whom he had hoped to have with him on his travels, died on October 3, leaning on the bishop's arm. Nor was this the only disappointment which Wellington afforded. "There appears to be neither school nor chapel connected with the church," wrote the bishop, "nor provision for either." He had hoped to place there a clergyman "of high character and standing" as archdeacon, and to have provided him with ample resources, but the New Zealand Company failed to provide its promised quota, and the scheme fell through. The residents of the town gave the bishop an address—and but little else. He could but leave his newly-ordained and just convalescent priest to occupy this arduous post, with no nearer human support than that of Hadfield at Waikanae.
After the funeral of Evans, the journey overland to Taranaki was begun. On the way the bishop of course met Hadfield, who had struggled manfully along since he had been left there by Henry Williams three years before. He still looked like a man doomed to death, and lived on little but biscuit, but he had acquired a wonderful influence over his Maori flock. Passing on to the Wanganui, the bishop had what proved to be his last interview with Mason, whose zeal and activity elicited his admiration; he also received an address of congratulation from the small English community of the town. At New Plymouth also everything looked bright. This settlement was almost exclusively Anglican, and good sites were at once offered for churches and schools. Having thus visited all the English towns, the bishop took ship down the west coast and again reached Waikanae. Here he prepared for the more arduous part of his journey—the visitation of the mission stations throughout the island.
This expedition may be compared with that of Henry Williams three years before, but Selwyn avoided the difficult mountain region of the centre by taking a more southern line and following up the valley of the Manawatu. The Maoris poled him up this river in their canoes, and, after carrying him in this way through the well-known gorge, deposited him on the eastern side of the ranges on November 11. A day's journey through the Forty-Mile Bush brought the party to the open plains of when again native habitations began to appear. Three days later he was met by Mr. William Williams, whose society he much enjoyed on the way to Ahuriri, where he found (about 6 miles from the site of the present town of Napier) a substantial chapel containing 400 persons, though this community had only once before been visited by a missionary. Proceeding northwards along the coast, he was struck with the results of Mr. Williams' labours in the orderliness and devotion of the converts. At Turanga (7 miles from Gisborne) he preached to "a noble congregation of at least 1,000 persons," who gave the responses in a deep sonorous manner, which was most striking. During the service the bishop installed William Williams as archdeacon of the eastern district.
Northwards still proceeded the tireless bishop on foot, until he reached Stack's mission station in the Waiapu valley; then turning across the rugged mountain ranges, he emerged into the Bay of Plenty. The grand sweep of its coast line was bordered with native cultivations, and relieved with the crimson blossoms of the pohutakawa trees, while on the blue horizon rose a cloud of sulphureous steam from White Island. Mission stations now appeared at frequent intervals, and the rest of the bishop's journey was a succession of pleasing experiences. The rose-clad cottage of Mr. and Mrs. Brown, at Tauranga; the comfortable abode of Chapman on Hinemoa's island in Lake Rotorua; the thermal springs which promptly healed the sprains and bruises of the arduous journey; the coloured pools in which healthy Maori children bathed and played; the wheat-fields and the English fruit of the central plateau; the mission stations of Morgan and Ashwell on the Waipa and Waikato; the easy canoe journey down these rivers until once more the western sea was reached: all this was delightful in itself, and prepared the traveller for a keen discussion on Bible translation with the expert Maunsell at the Waikato Heads.
The last stage was again a painful one, for boots and clothes had well nigh given out, and it was with blistered feet that the bishop tramped along the sandy coast to Hamlin's cottage on the Manukau, whence a sail across the harbour brought him to Onehunga, with just one suit sufficiently decent to enable him to enter Auckland by daylight, though his broken boots compelled him to avoid its central street.
This journey, which lasted exactly three months from the day when he left Wellington to that on which he arrived at Waimate (Oct. 10, 1842—Jan. 9, 1843), must be pronounced a great one. Even now, with all the aids of railways, roads, and steamers, it would be no easy feat. To cross the island not once but twice—first from west to east, and then from east to west—besides skirting the coast for some hundreds of miles, and to do all this on foot, except where rivers could be utilised with native canoes, was surely a remarkable achievement. The results of his investigation were thoroughly satisfactory to the bishop. Wherever he went he had preached to the Maoris in their native tongue, and had won golden opinions from them. The missionaries had everywhere given him a hearty welcome, and had generally come some miles to meet him when they had heard of his approach. Of them, as of their converts, he had formed a favourable opinion. Whatever might formerly have been his yearnings for the ancient Jerusalem, they were now quite overpowered. The words which kept rising to his lips were words of thankfulness: "The lot is fallen unto me in a fair ground; yea, I have a goodly heritage."
Unreconciled antitheses are prophecies and promises of a larger future.
With Bishop Selwyn there appeared in New Zealand a type of churchmanship which was new to the Maoris, and even to their teachers. Much had happened in the mother country since Marsden and the brothers Williams had left it. The Oxford, or "Tractarian," movement had drawn men's minds to the thought of the visible Church; the old Missionary Society, which had been founded under Queen Anne "for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts," had recovered from its low condition, and was once more doing active work among British colonists; the study of Christian antiquity was being zealously pursued, and many young churchmen were enthusiastically bent on imitating the ascetic lives of the saints and hermits of the past.
Selwyn himself did not belong to the Tractarians, but he admired them from afar, and he was influenced to a great extent by the same spirit. The key to much of the subsequent history of the New Zealand Church may be found in a spectacle which might be seen at Kerikeri in the year after the bishop's arrival. At this place was a large and solid stone building, which the missionaries used as a store: here, in an upstairs apartment, the bishop arranged his library. Passing among "bales of blankets, iron pots, rusty rat-traps and saws," he loved to enter his retreat, in which there was nothing "colonial," but where he could feast his eyes on "ancient folios of Commentators, Councils, and Annals of the Church,"—St. Augustine "standing up like a tower," and St. Irenaeus "with the largest margin that I ever saw." Not that Selwyn spent much of his time over these treasures—his life was too fully occupied for that—but he knew pretty well what they contained, and he shaped his policy accordingly. The missionaries had been men of one book: Selwyn was a man of many books. He knew his Bible, it is true, with the intimate "textual" knowledge of the most old-fashioned divine, and he had a marvellous skill in calling up the appropriate verse on all occasions. But he interpreted it in the light of Christian antiquity. Pearson on the Creed, with its patristic citations, was ever at his hand. This, with his Bible and his Prayer Book, constituted his working theological equipment. Every doctrine, every argument, every rule, was clearly conceived and arranged in his mind, ready for immediate use.
Upon the shelves of the Kerikeri library reposed one volume of special interest. This was Marsden's copy of Hooker's "Ecclesiastical Polity," which had been publicly presented to the bishop on his arrival in Sydney. Selwyn already knew his Hooker almost by heart, but the gift stood as a token of the spiritual relationship which united these two great men. Yet their "polity" was not altogether the same. In his appreciation of the "catholic" aspect of the Church's heritage, the bishop failed to realise the value of the local catholicity which had been evolved by Marsden and his fellow workers. He could find no place for the Wesleyan mission in his scheme. Always courteous to its leaders, he yet could not continue the old communion with them. From this change of attitude the logical Maoris drew conclusions which soon brought sadness to the bishop himself. Up and down the country, but especially in Taranaki, where the spheres of influence met, the converts were violently perturbed. A savage burst of sectarian fury broke out. Each small community was divided against itself, and its Christianity, like that of the Corinthians, evaporated in bitter party feeling. In one pa a high fence was built through the midst to divide the adherents of "Weteri" (Wesley) from those of "Hahi" (the Church).
Controversy and division were not the only foes which hindered the building of the new Jerusalem. The angel of death hovered near and smote down the workers with relentless hand. At Wellington the bishop had buried the remains of his student, Evans; but he had ordained to the priesthood the Rev. J. Mason, the new missionary at Wanganui. Within a few weeks this excellent man was drowned in the Turakina River. Nor did the sad tale end here. On reaching home after his journey the bishop was confronted by the wasted face and hollow cough of one who was to have been the principal of the college he was founding at Waimate. This was the Rev. Thomas Whytehead, a man of beautiful and saintly character, whom the bishop had looked to for spiritual support and inspiration. He was indeed the St. Barnabas of the little community as long as his life lasted, but in a few weeks he passed away from earth, and his remains were buried in the Waimate churchyard. Like the Barnabas of old, he laid his money at the apostles' feet by bequeathing all his private fortune to the bishop for the purposes of the college, and he left as a legacy to the whole Church the touching hymn for Easter Eve:
Resting from his work to-day.
His monetary gift proved of great value, for with it was afterwards acquired the estate at Tamaki, upon which the present St. John's College stands; but still more precious to the Church is the "sweet fragrance of his memory."
Whytehead's bequest was only one manifestation of the spirit which actuated the community throughout. The members lived with the bishop in one of the old houses at the Waimate mission station. He himself paid into the common fund the whole of his episcopal income of £1,200, and drew out as his proper share only £500. The farm was worked on communistic principles. Teachers and students must all take their share in manual labour. Lectures on Greek and Latin must be given in the intervals of ploughing, or printing, or teaching Maori children to read or hoe or spin. Each "associate" received a fixed salary; all profits went to the support of the institution.
The reasons for this insistence on manual training were twofold. Like Bishop Broughton, Selwyn had observed that "throughout the whole mission the delusion has prevailed that the Gospel will give habits as well as principles." He began, in fact, as Marsden had begun, with a strong insistence on the industrial side of education, for the sake of developing in the Maori a well-ordered and diligent character which the white man would respect, and with which he might co-operate in the building up of a united nation. The fervour and the teachableness of the Maori were to help the religion of the Briton: the energy and industry of the Briton were to balance the dreamy nature of the Maori.
But, secondly, the community thus organised on primitive and Christian lines was to be a spectacle and an example to the world. Selwyn did not read his Bible or his Fathers with the interest of a mere student. In the background of his thought lay the Socialist and Chartist movement, which was even then preparing for the explosion of 1848. The Church must show the true principle of brotherhood in active operation, and he hoped to attract to his community young men from the English universities, who were going over to Rome through discontent with the comfortable worldliness of the mother Church. "I have at command," he wrote, "a rill of water, a shady wood, a rocky cave, and roots of fern, for every one of these would-be anchorites." But the would-be anchorites found no attraction in the hard work which New Zealand offered, and the bishop's college was recruited chiefly from the grey-haired missionaries or their sons. From these he replenished the number of his clergy, which had been reduced by the drowning of Mason, and by the withdrawal of two other priests to England. His first ordination was that of Richard Davis, the farmer-catechist, in June, 1843; while in September three more students were admitted to the diaconate (Bolland, Spencer, and Butt), and thus at least for a time the ranks were filled.
With the ordination of these students closed the first session of the college. The bishop had arranged to spend each winter with his students, and each summer in travelling about the diocese and planting out those whom he had ordained. During the first term he had often found time to hold large confirmations at or near the Bay of Islands, as well as to open the new church at Auckland; now with the spring he set out on a journey even more far-reaching than that of the previous year. His route lay at first through the interior of the island, and intersected his former line of march. His object was to visit the Taupo and Upper Wanganui missions, which he had not as yet seen, and afterwards to lift the veil which hid the farthest south.
The first stages of his journey were marked by some memorable experiences. Near Lake Tarawera, "on turning a corner of the valley, we saw before us what appeared to be a large waterfall, apparently 50 feet in height and about the same in width. As we came nearer we were surprised to hear no noise of falling waters, but still the appearance was the same in the moonlight. In a few minutes we found ourselves walking upon what had appeared to be water." The bishop had in fact found the famous White Terraces, which were afterwards destroyed in the eruption of 1886. After leaving one of his deacons (Spencer) at Lake Taupo, the bishop and his party were weatherbound for a week in the mountains near the head waters of the Wanganui, and were reduced to very short rations. In order to get canoes, Selwyn inflated his air bed, and placing it on a frame of sticks he sent two of his Maoris sailing down the stream upon it, and was thus able to make known his plight to the settlements below. When a canoe at last arrived, the weather changed, and the descent of this beautiful stream was in every way a joy. From far above Pipiriki, Selwyn landed at every pa, and held service or catechised the natives. Sunday, November 19th, was a time of special interest. "A more lovely day in respect of weather," he wrote, "or one more full of interest in respect of its moral circumstances, or of pleasure from the beauty of the scenery through which I passed, I never remember to have spent. It was a day of intense delight from beginning to end: from the earliest song of the birds, who awakened me in the morning, to the Evening Hymn of the natives, which was just concluded when I reached the door of the native chapel at Ikurangi."
The remaining weeks of the year 1843 were spent amongst the "Cook Strait settlements," in most of which good progress was evident. At Nelson a church and a neat brick parsonage had already been built, while at Wanganui the Maoris had resolved to pull down their brick church and to build a larger one in wood. Wellington was still the unsatisfactory spot. No English church had yet been begun, and the sense of grievance was still strong.
However natural such feelings might once have been, they were surely inexcusable now. For since the bishop's last visit, Wellington had contracted such a debt to the missionaries as should have changed its grievance into gratitude. The New Zealand Company had made its great blunder in attempting to take possession of the Marlborough plain without buying it from its native owners. The result had been the Wairau tragedy, in which 19 white men had been killed by the Maoris under Rauparaha and Rangihaeta. The effect of this deed of blood was quickly felt in other parts. Up every river valley the news was passed that the Maori had at last turned on the pakeha, and had beaten him in open fight. The crafty Rauparaha, fearing a terrific act of vengeance on the part of the white men, resolved to forestall any such danger by driving them out of the country. He felt certain of his own Ngatitoas, but between them and Wellington lay Waikanae, where Hadfield's influence was strong, and where Wiremu Kingi, the father-in-law of Ripahau, was chief. To Waikanae accordingly he steered his boat. Still wet with the salt spray of the strait, and faint from long exertion, he pleaded with such power and pathos that he almost won over these tribesmen to his daring project. The situation was a critical one. Not a moment was to be lost. Hadfield ordered the bell to be rung for Evensong; the assembly thronged in to prayers; and for the time the excitement calmed down.
But the danger was not over. All through the long winter night, Rauparaha was busy in trying to induce Wiremu Kingi to join him. He proposed to attack Wellington and destroy every man, woman, and child. "Let us destroy the reptile while we have the power to do so," he argued, "or it will destroy us. We have begun: let us make an end of them." Kingi was firm, and declared that it was his intention to live at peace with the pakeha. When daylight came, Rauparaha made one more effort: "At least remain neutral," he pleaded. "I will oppose you with my whole force," said Kingi, and the disappointed warrior steered his canoes northwards.
Even now he did not give up his scheme. Forming his camp on an islet in the Otaki River, and taking up a bold attitude, he endeavoured to secure the assistance of the Ngatiraukawa tribesmen. But Hadfield had followed him along the coast, and now brought his great influence to bear on the natives as they were gathered on the river bank. Rauparaha's passionate eloquence failed of its effect, and he saw that the game was lost. With that rapid decision for which he was renowned, this Maori Napoleon now seized what seemed his one remaining chance of safety: he crept submissively to Hadfield, and applied to be received as a candidate for baptism. Somewhat to the amazement of his white friends, Hadfield accepted him as a catechumen, and the two men actually became fast friends.
Thus was white New Zealand saved by Waikanae Christianity; and Waikanae Christianity was due, under GOD, to an invalided Oxford undergraduate, a Maori slave, and a little girl with her Gospel of St. Luke!
But what of Rauparaha's son, Tamihana, the man without whom Hadfield would not have come to the district, nor Ripahau been converted, nor Tarore's gospel brought into use? This zealous man was engaged at the moment on an enterprise very different from that which his father had contemplated. Four years before, he and his cousin had gone to the extreme north to find a teacher for themselves; now they had gone to the extreme south in order to teach others. Travelling in an open boat for more than one thousand miles, these two intrepid men had coasted down the east of the South Island, and had visited all the pas in what are now Canterbury and Otago. Their lives were in jeopardy, for the very name of Rauparaha was enough to arouse a thirst for vengeance among people whom that conqueror had harried and enslaved; but the earnestness of the young men was so transparent that they were received peacefully in every place, and their message was welcomed and accepted.
Such were the tidings which the bishop heard when he reached Otaki. Rauparaha himself was an "enquirer" into the Christian verities; Rauparaha's son had evangelised along the line which he himself was about to travel, and, moreover, was willing to proceed thither again with the bishop as his guide and companion.
With the same Tamihana, then, and nine other Maoris, the bishop left Wellington on January 6th, 1844, in a miserable coasting schooner. When opposite Banks Peninsula the little vessel was forced to put into the bay of Peraki for supplies, and as a strong contrary wind sprang up at this juncture, Selwyn determined to walk to Otago instead of going on by sea. Through this change in his plans, he seems to have been the first white man to discover that Lake Ellesmere was a freshwater lake, and not an extension of Pegasus Bay. It was at the point where the hills of the Peninsula slope steeply down to the end of the Ninety-Mile Beach that the traveller realised this fact, and it was from this point that he gained, at sunset, his first view of what were afterwards to be known as the Canterbury Plains. With his Maoris he spent his first night on shore at a small pa which then stood at the outlet of Lake Forsyth. After a supper and breakfast of eels, the party proceeded next day along the shingle bank which separates Lake Ellesmere from the sea, and at Taumutu found about forty Maoris, some of whom could read, and "many were acquainted with the Lord's Prayer, the Belief, and portions of the Catechism." Here then was the first evidence of Tamihana's previous visit. The service which the bishop held at this place next morning (Jan. 11) may be looked upon as the beginning of Church of England worship in the province of Canterbury.
At Arowhenua more than 100 Maoris were found, but these showed the effects not only of Tamihana's instruction, but also of Wesleyan teachers from the south. The melancholy result was the division of the pa into two sections, who plied the bishop with questions on denominational distinctions. The same uncomfortable state of things was found in almost every village as far as Stewart Island, and detracted much from the pleasure of the tour. At Waikouaiti, 100 miles farther south, the bishop visited a Wesleyan missionary, Mr. Watkins. He was the only white teacher who had as yet visited this portion of the country, and he entertained his guest for two days in friendly fashion. He was inclined to resent the intrusion of Tamihana into his district, but admitted in conversation that, owing to weak health, he had never been able to visit many of the pas himself, and that he had been so scantily supplied with literature by his Society that he could not circulate books. The bishop felt that the ground had certainly not been effectively occupied before Tamihana's visit, for all the Maoris attributed to him the beginnings of their knowledge of the truth. He therefore declined to recognise a Wesleyan sphere of influence in these regions, but the parting between himself and this lonely missionary was thoroughly friendly on both sides.
At Moeraki, Selwyn had again taken to shipboard, and learned from some of his fellow passengers much of the romantic history of the southern whaling stations. He was able also to fill in his map with the names of capes and other coastal features as they came successively into sight: "In the company of these men I soon found the whole of the mystery which had hung over the southern islands passing away; every place being as well known by them as the northern island by us."
The whaling stations of Stewart Island and of the opposite mainland supplied a curious field for missionary effort. Though Christian marriage was unknown, the whalers appeared to be faithful to their native partners, and uniformly anxious that their half-caste children should lead a more regular life than they themselves had known. In a considerable number of cases the bishop pronounced the Church's blessing over these irregular connections, and he distributed large numbers of simple books for the instruction of the children.
A fortnight soon passed by amidst this interesting community, and, after reaching the farthest inhabited point at Jacob's River, the bishop was able to make a quick run by sea back to Akaroa, which he reached on Feb. 14th. Here he evidently felt himself to be on alien soil, for though he thoroughly appreciated the ceremonious politeness with which he was received on board the French corvette, he does not seem to have held any service on shore, nor performed any episcopal act. He was more at home with a godly Presbyterian family whom he found at Pigeon Bay, and complied with their request to conduct their evening prayer.
By the end of the month he was back in Wellington, where at last there appeared some hopeful signs. A new governor (Captain Fitzroy) had just arrived, who helped him to secure a better site for a church; and a new judge, "who spoke very co-operatively on church matters." At Auckland he consecrated St. Paul's Church, and was pleased to find his projected church at Tamaki already taking shape. Such "a solid venerable-looking building" refreshed his spirit amidst "the wilderness of weather-board;" and he had another "delicious day" in his library at Kerikeri before he finally arrived at Waimate. He was escorted home on March 21 by a procession of the members of the college and the schools, amounting in all to full 50 souls, and found everything in such good order that he requested his English friends to waste no more compassion upon him for the future.
Everything seemed to promise fair for the second term of the college, but troubles arose in an unexpected quarter. The Home Committee of the C.M.S. paid one half of the episcopal stipend, and of course recognised the spiritual side of the office. But they would not give up their jurisdiction over their agents, nor allow the bishop to place them where he would. As nearly all the clergy in the country belonged to this Society, such a restriction would have left the bishop with but little real power. Selwyn was the last man in the world to acquiesce in such an arrangement. The result was that the Society refused to grant him a renewal of his lease of the buildings at Waimate, and it became necessary for the bishop to look elsewhere for a site for his headquarters.
This unhappy breach made no difference to the loyal support which the leaders of the mission on the spot had always given to their chief. Rather it drew them closer to him. "I am sorry, very sorry," wrote Henry Williams, "to learn the way in which the good bishop has been treated by expulsion from the Waimate. How could this have taken place? Who could have given consent for such a movement?" His brother and Hadfield were equally distressed. Selwyn, on his part, seemed to be determined to bind the missionaries to himself more closely than ever. Four of them he associated with himself on a translation syndicate, which sat regularly from May to September to revise the Maori Prayer Book. At the end of the college term there came what may be called a climax of fellowship. At a notable service in the Waimate church on Sunday, September 22nd, Henry Williams and Brown of Tauranga were installed as archdeacons; then followed an ordination, in which many of the lay catechists whose names have come before us in the first part of this work were admitted to the diaconate. Chapman, Hamlin, Matthews, Colenso, and C. P. Davies all received the laying-on-of-hands; the sermon was preached by Henry Williams, and the church was crammed with a devout and interested congregation. "It was grand," writes Lady Martin, "to hear the people repeat the responses all together in perfect time. It was like the roar of waves on the beach." On the next day the Maoris, hearing that the bishop was about to leave them, made a public protest with eloquent speeches and warlike gestures. Archdeacon W. Williams calmed their excitement by drawing a diagram on the gravel, and asking whether it was not fair that the bishop should live in the middle of the diocese instead of at either end.
One more act of unity was consummated before the final leave-taking. On the Thursday of that week, the bishop held a synod, at which the three archdeacons, four other priests, and two deacons were present, its object being to frame rules "for the better management of the mission, and the general government of the Church." This little gathering attracted much notice in England, on account of its being the first synodical meeting which had been held in modern times; but in itself it was hardly more imposing than the old meetings of the missionary committee, which had often been held in the same place. The great point to be noticed is that it was marked by complete harmony and loyalty. As yet there was no breach between the leaders in New Zealand. The bishop and his party left the north on a hot October morning a few weeks later amidst general regret. Lady Martin tells how the little Maori children came swarming out into the lane to see the last of the departing household. The words of their hymn echoed the feelings of the elder folk:
Oh that will be joyful,
When we meet to part no more!
O Bishop! O Missionaries! Pray, as you never prayed before, for the grace of the Holy Ghost to keep you united still.
CONFLICT AND TROUBLE.
When Bishop Selwyn removed his headquarters from the Bay of Islands, he was in no doubt as to whither to betake himself. Auckland was the seat of government, and the most central position from which to reach the various mission stations; it was the strongest church centre of all the European settlements; and it was the home of Judge Martin, with whom the bishop had already formed a close friendship, and who was destined afterwards, as Sir William Martin, to play an important part in the building up of the New Zealand Church.
Thither accordingly the bishop moved his family and his collegiate establishment in the spring of 1844. With part of the Whytehead bequest, he had bought several hundred acres of land at Tamaki, about six miles from the town, and not far from Mokoia, the scene of the great battle between Hongi and Hinaki. The first summer was spent in the erection of the buildings, for which the bishop's English friends had subscribed no less than £5,000. During this time the community lived in tents and other temporary habitations at Purewa, which served as the "port" of the new establishment. Before winter there were sufficient permanent structures at St. John's College itself to house the scholars, and soon the varied activities of the old Waimate period were resumed with even more than their old vigour.
Nothing, indeed, could exceed the simplicity or the theoretical comprehensiveness of the college ideal. The agricultural department was still a prominent feature, and the bishop loved to watch his little army of 70 spades going forth in the morning to its task of breaking up the rough fern land. The printing press had been brought from the north, and was kept busily at work; weaving, carpentry, and shoe-making also were carried on. One of the largest buildings was a hospital—the first in New Zealand—where patients were attended by "the Brethren and Sisters of the Hospital of St. John," whose vows bound them "to minister to the wants of the sick of all classes, without respect of persons or reservation of service, not for any material reward, but for the love of God." Schools for Maori and English children formed, as before, an essential part of the scheme, and the little chapel with its daily services shed a hallowing influence over the whole. The communistic character of the organisation was maintained, but one-third of the profits of the farm were divided among the lay associates to enable them to stock farms of their own when the time of their training should expire. Prominent among the students were two youths who had walked to Auckland from Poverty Bay. These were Leonard Williams, son of the Archdeacon of Waiapu; and Samuel, second son of Archdeacon Henry Williams. This young man, who was afterwards to become famous for his agricultural success, his wealth, and his generosity, was ordained in the college chapel on Sept. 20th, 1846, and married, at the same place, a few days later, to a member of his uncle's family. The double event drew a large concourse of both the Williams families, and thus served to emphasise the solidarity which existed in that hopeful spring-tide between the bishop and the missionary clergy.
Such evidences became all the more precious in the light of outside events. The relations between the bishop and the Church Missionary Society, so far from improving, became worse. The Society had tried to make some atonement for its closure of Waimate by presenting the bishop with the printing-press, and also with a yacht (the Flying Fish), in which Hadfield had been wont to visit the pas in the Nelson sounds. But it would not give way on the question of the placing of its agents; and on the bishop refusing to acquiesce in a divided authority, it declined to present any more of its catechists for ordination. The brothers Williams by no means approved of this policy, for to them it seemed that the bishop was more likely to know the wants of the whole diocese than could a committee in London, and they trusted his judgment entirely. Yet, a well-meant act of this very kind had already contributed to the series of events which was destined to mar the godly harmony with which the young Church of this land had hitherto been blessed.
One of the concluding tasks of the Waimate period had been the revision of the Maori Prayer Book. Archdeacon W. Williams must of course be brought from the east coast for this work, and the bishop despatched the elder brother to take his place there for the time. The step was an unfortunate one, for never was the old peace-maker's influence more needed in the north than at this juncture. The Maoris were becoming restless under the regulations of the new government, and their discontent was fanned by Americans and other foreigners, who told them that the flagstaff upon the hill overlooking Kororareka (or Russell) was a symbol that the country had passed away from the native race, and that soon the Maoris would be reduced to slavery. These taunts made a deep impression upon the mind of Hone Heke, a clever man who had learned in the mission school at Paihia and in Henry Williams' own household to read and understand something of what was passing in the world. The American whalers had instilled into him an ardent admiration for George Washington, while the British Government had just become discredited in the eyes of all good men through the "Opium War" in China. To shake off its yoke became to Heke the part of true patriotism, and to fell the flagstaff was to strike at the symbol of Babylonish idolatry.
The one man who might have dissuaded Heke from his purpose was his old master, Te Wiremu, and it was just in the months of Te Wiremu's absence that the flagstaff was first cut down (Sept. 16, 1844). It was felled again in the following January, and in March came the real struggle. When Henry Williams returned to the Bay, shortly after the first outbreak, it was too late to change Heke's purpose. The die was cast. But he was still able to do much with those Maoris who had not yet declared themselves on Heke's side. By circulating and explaining the terms of the treaty of Waitangi, he won over the great chief, Tamati Waka Nene; and it was this man's force that eventually turned the scale on the British side. Williams and Waka Nene saved Auckland at this crisis, as certainly as Hadfield and Wiremu Kingi had saved Wellington the year before. But, though Henry Williams was unable to shake the determination of the "rebels," he could not withhold a certain admiration at their conduct. "It is astonishing," he wrote, "to see Heke: how close he keeps to his Testament and his Prayer Book. I am disposed to think he is conscious he is doing a good work, as, previous to his attack on the flagstaff, he asked a blessing on his proceedings; and, after he had completed the mischief, he returned thanks for having strength for his work." Right up to the eve of the final assault, Heke attended the church services devoutly, and in planning this assault he betook himself to his Bible. A strong force of military was now protecting the mast, but Heke took his tactics from those of Joshua at Ai. While his ally, Kawiti, engaged the British soldiers and marines at the opposite end of the beach, Heke himself and his party lay in ambush below the block-house. The stratagem was successful: the block-house was easily overpowered; the mast once more felled to the earth; and then the victors, having achieved their object, sat down on the hill-top to watch the scene below.
A curious scene it is! A terrific explosion of all the English ammunition in the lower block-house brings the fighting to an end, but the harbour is alive with boats laden with fugitive settlers. Here, are Henry Williams and the bishop conveying dead and wounded soldiers to Paihia, or to the man-of-war which lies at anchor in the background; there, are Maoris cheerfully helping their late enemies to save their household goods. But what are these English doing? Their warship begins to fire at the town, and especially at the church behind which the wounded are lying! No one is hurt, it is true; but is not the meaning clear enough? Can there be any doubt now as to the unchristian character of the British rule? Must it not be the anti-Christ?
If such were the thoughts of the Maori, which the sight of the bombardment of Russell awoke in his mind, how much stronger would they have been, could he have heard the gross and violent abuse which was showered on Henry Williams by the officers of the Hazard, as he sat in his boat alongside, waiting for the bishop? Through all his years of missionary work the old naval officer had never forgotten the service to which he had once belonged, and now the cries of "Traitor!" cut him to the quick. Sorrowfully he made his way across the Bay to his home. The "beginning of sorrows" had come.
With his sons he was again at Russell, on the morrow, using his influence to keep some sort of order, until intoxication began among the victorious Maoris. Yet, even when they burnt the town, these "savages" were careful to save the churches and the parsonages; and a few days later Heke called on Williams at Paihia, and in the kindest tones begged him to move inland out of harm's way. In spite of all his disapprobation of their conduct, the missionary could not but feel that his converts were not altogether untrue to their profession. But the more their reverence for their teachers became conspicuous, the louder rose the cry of "traitor" from the English side. "You must have given them encouragement," was the common charge; "for look how they single you out for their favour!"
Before long, indeed, it seemed as though the innocence of the missionary was being vindicated by a Higher Power. The tide of war rolled inland, and Heke was defeated by Waka Nene, who now fought on the British side. Still more tragic was the death of the rash Lieutenant Philpott in the unsuccessful attack upon the stockade of Ohaeawai, July 1, 1845. This was the man who had ordered the bombardment of the church at Russell, and who had led the cry of "traitor" afterwards. He was a brave man, and the son of a bishop; but his excitable mind had been poisoned by the officials of the New Zealand Company, and now that death had interposed its extenuating plea, his offence could be forgiven. The archdeacon was permitted by the victorious Maoris to take the officer's eyeglass, and a lock of hair from his brow, for transmission to his English friends, and might well hope that the falsehoods he had uttered would be buried in his grave.
But this was not to be. The final act in this disastrous war brought on the scene an antagonist who took up with craft the charge which Philpott had made in ignorance, and pressed it home for many years with all the astuteness and malignity of a superior intellect.
The ill success of the British arms had caused the recall of the friendly Governor Fitzroy, and the appointment in his place of Captain (afterwards Sir George) Grey. This officer began his military operations with a much larger force, and advanced against the strongest position which the Maoris had yet fortified—that of Ruapekapeka, or the Bats' Nest. The name was only too appropriate at this period, for the place seemed to abound with creatures of darkness. Who does not know that the pa was captured by the governor on a Sunday morning (Jan. 11, 1846), while the defenders were engaged in worship in the bush outside? This was bad enough, for now the Maoris had been taught how little Christian England regarded either their sacred places or their sacred day. But out of the Bats' Nest came a second charge against Henry Williams. The governor averred that letters had been found in the captured pa which amounted to a positive proof of the missionary's treason. As the troops marched back to the Bay of Islands, a common topic of their conversation was the arrest of the "traitor," whom they expected to see carried off in handcuffs to Auckland for his trial. The letter which had been found was really one that Williams had written to the Maori leader, urging him to submit himself to the government; but, by burning the letter, the governor was able to base upon it a charge which was dangerous from its very vagueness. Conscious of his innocence, the missionary remained at his post, and at last saw the police boat depart without him on a Sunday afternoon, and was able to go in peace to his evening service.
The prospect of a trial was indeed less welcome to the governor himself than to the archdeacon, for throughout the long conflict which followed, a public enquiry was the one thing which Henry Williams consistently claimed, and which the governor as consistently evaded. But the peace which followed the departure of the troops was occupied by the latter in forging weapons of a different character. Six months after the fall of the Bats' Nest, the governor indited to the Secretary of State for the Colonies a "confidential" despatch, which even his defenders admit to be full of falsehoods. This despatch came to be known as the "Blood and Treasure Despatch," and it forms the key to the whole after history of the quarrel. In this document Governor Grey completely abandoned the charge of stirring up the Maoris to rebel, and accused the missionaries of claiming more than their share of the land of the natives, and thereby making inevitable another war. "Her Majesty's Government," he wrote, "may rest satisfied that these individuals cannot be put in possession of these tracts of land without a large expenditure of British blood and money." By "these individuals" he meant (as specified in another part of the despatch) "several members of the Church Missionary Society," as well as other settlers, who had acquired land from the natives. The despatch was addressed to Mr. Gladstone; but shortly after its arrival a change of government took place, and the new colonial secretary, Lord Grey, made known its contents to the Church Missionary Society, by whom it was transmitted to New Zealand.
Its publication had all the effect of a thunderbolt. What could the governor mean by such charges? So far from there being any need of a British army to put the missionaries—or rather, their sons—in possession of the land, the truth, of course, was that they were already in possession and had been quietly farming their grants for some years. All through the war the Maoris had respected their titles, and were on the best of terms with the young farmers. To Henry Williams, with his life-long devotion to the government he had once served, no charge could have been more painful. It touched his honour to the quick. He offered to give up every acre of the land, if the governor would either retract or substantiate his charges. Neither of these things would the governor attempt to do. He was determined to get the land, and he left no stone unturned in his efforts to accomplish his object.
August and September, 1847, were the critical time of this distressing episode. On Aug. 13th, Henry Williams received from London the news of the "Blood and Treasure" despatch. It was accompanied by a letter from the C.M.S., instructing the missionaries to divest themselves of all land in excess of 1,260 acres for each grant. They might sell it, or make it over to their children, or put it in trust for the benefit of the aborigines, but they were not to retain it for "their own use and benefit." Nothing could have been more satisfactory to Henry Williams, who had never drawn a shilling from the land for his own use, but had always paid his sons for any of their produce he might require. He now sent to the Society an undertaking that he would at once transfer the land legally to his family, and thus he hoped to put an end to the dispute.
But this did not satisfy the governor. In the same month he submitted proposals so worded as to imply, if accepted, that the land (or a portion of it) had been unjustly acquired. This at once brought up again the question of honour, and the proposals were of course rejected.
It was at this juncture that the governor took a course which was fraught with evil consequences to the New Zealand Church. He applied for help to the bishop. Unless the question was settled, he said, he would be obliged to take steps which might deeply injure their common faith. Would the bishop communicate his letter to the missionaries, and use his influence to induce them to give up their land?
What was the bishop to do? It is generally supposed that he allowed himself to be persuaded against his better judgment by the plausible arguments of the governor. But this is surely to wrong a man of Selwyn's character. He had stood shoulder to shoulder with Henry Williams in upholding the validity of the Treaty of Waitangi, against the action of the same governor and of the Home authorities. It was not likely that he would weakly give way to the blandishments of any individual, unless he had convinced himself that the cause was a just one. How then can we account for his action in this instance?
The only explanation that seems to meet the case is that which is supplied by the idealistic nature of Selwyn's mind. One of his ideals was plain living, and he had something of the socialist's contempt for the "rights of property." Even before his consecration his mind had been exercised on the question of the land purchases of the New Zealand missionaries. When he arrived in the country, he told Henry Williams that he had determined to take no notice of the matter, but for all that he never abated his dislike of the system. These "waste and worthless acres" threatened to mar the success of his schemes. "Catechism and bread and butter" should be enough for missionaries' children; and when these grew to manhood, was not St. John's College open to them, with its farm and its technical training, besides its invitation to the offices of schoolmaster and deacon? If the missionaries' sons were endowed with land of their own, would they not be so much absorbed with its management as to be insensible to the charm of community life and the call of the ministries of the Church? Such thoughts seem to have been working in the mind of the bishop from the time of his arrival, and he had corresponded with the C.M.S. from time to time on the subject. He had hitherto said nothing, but when the governor appealed to him with the plausible reasoning which he—an idealist also—could so skilfully use, the bishop fell in with the proposal, and broke through the reserve which he had hitherto maintained. Such, at least, is the explanation which is suggested by a careful study of the facts. The conflict was one of principles: communism against individualism. Like many other reformers, Bishop Selwyn was strong when he exhibited the positive aspects of the communistic ideal; he failed and became unjust when he tried to force others into the same method of life.
The attack was made with great suddenness. The bishop brought the archdeacon from the Bay of Islands to St. John's College, and there, on September 4, in the midst of his own disciplinarian surroundings, handed him a lengthy letter in which he revealed his long cherished opinions, defended the Blood and Treasure despatch, and called upon the missionary to accept the governor's terms. The startled archdeacon asked for proof of the episcopal charges, but of course no proof was forthcoming. It was a matter of prejudged guilt. The bishop was not skilful in the negotiations, and at last lost his temper and demanded point-blank the surrender of the deeds. Henry Williams felt that he was unjustly accused, and, still holding out for "substantiation or retractation," left the scene of the conference in a fit of indignation, which was still further increased when he found that the unscrupulous governor had been trying to stir up the Maoris of the Bay of Islands to claim the restitution of their lands. Nothing but their strong affection and loyalty towards "Te Wiremu" could have enabled them to resist this appeal to their cupidity. But underhand dealing was the one thing that Williams could not bear, and he would hold no more communication with Governor Grey on the subject. His sons were of age: let them carry on the struggle.
The year 1848 brought one ray of light to the unhappy "grantees." The governor brought against one of them an action in the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The two judges were friends of the bishop and of the governor, but their verdict confirmed the missionaries in possession of their land. The legal status thus acquired enabled Henry Williams to convey the whole of the land which stood in his name to his family, and thus to make quite clear to all the real state of the case. But the old question of honour was still unsettled, and Williams sought for a public enquiry both from the British Government and from the Missionary Society. Both bodies, however, were under the influence of his foes, and refused his request. Instead of enquiring into his wrongs, the C.M.S., misled by the constant accusations of the governor, resolved to end the trouble by terminating the connection with their old and well-tried servant.
This was a stunning blow. It was the Eve of Trinity Sunday, 1850, that the letter came to Paihia, after a period so long that it had seemed as though the trouble were at rest. Mrs. Williams has left on record the feelings of herself and her husband on that Sunday: "The day was beautiful in which we saw our old and much-loved home, all untouched in Sabbath peace, for the last time. We told no one; all went on as usual; but it was a great conflict to keep down the thoughts of our expulsion, and all its attendant cruel injustice."
On the following Thursday the move was made. Amidst heavy rain the family rode off to the inland farm at Pakaraka, where the sons were already settled. The cavalcade was escorted by Pene Taui, the general who had repulsed the British troops at Ohaeawai, and by Tamati Pukututu, who had guarded the stores of the English in the same campaign. They had fought on opposite sides in the war, but they were at one in their devotion to Wiremu.
With the removal of Henry Williams, came to an end the Golden Age, or influential period, of the Bay of Islands. Governor and bishop had both left it, and the war had dealt its missions a blow from which they were never to recover. The visitor to Paihia to-day sees a few silent houses ranged along the quiet beach, and amongst them the ruins of the building in which the first printing-press in New Zealand was set up. A church of more modern date contains some remains of the early period, and at the other end of the beach stands the dismantled house in which Carleton lived and wrote. But the most enduring object is the fine granite cross which was erected long afterwards by the Maori Church to the memory of Henry Williams—"a Preacher of the Gospel of Peace, and a Father of the Tribes."
Note.—With regard to the rest of those whom Mr. Collier calls the "peccant missionaries" there is not much to be said. One of them, Clarke, was certainly treated with strange injustice. The governor brought an action against him in the Supreme Court, as already related. He did not defend himself, but was dismissed by the C.M.S. on a charge of having gone to law with the governor! A full list of the landgrants may be seen in Thompson's "Story of New Zealand," Vol. II., p. 155. It is not pleasant reading; one could have wished that the missionaries had not been driven to acquire land as they did. Perhaps some of them were led on further than was wise or right. Taylor's claim for 50,000 acres was startling, but he bought the land at Henry Williams' request to save a war between two tribes who both claimed it. When the grants came to be legally made by Governor Fitzroy, Taylor received only 1,704 acres. Maunsell, Chapman, Hadfield, Morgan, Stack, and some others, never bought any land at all; and the amounts claimed by some of the others were very small. The total number of missionaries on the schedule is 36: the total number of acres granted is 66,713. It must be remembered that the families of the grantees were generally large, and that the quality of the land was usually very poor.
SACRIFICE AND HEALING.
We must suffer for the sin of others as for our own; and in this suffering we find a healing and purifying power and element.
The land-grant controversy did not, of course, occupy the whole of Bishop Selwyn's time during the years of its painful and weary course. The journeys by land and sea were still carried on, and were even extended in their range. In 1848 the bishop sailed away eastward, out of sight of land, in a small schooner of 21 tons, and after ten days reached the Chathams; in 1849 he even ventured in the same vessel far to the northward among the coral islands of Melanesia. In 1847 he had held a second synod, and there were some cheering occurrences among the Maoris, especially in the south-west district. At Otaki, for instance, the bishop found 300 men, with Rauparaha at their head, engaged in raising the great pillars of a splendid church, around which a town (to be called "Hadfield") was being laid out. At Wanganui the Rev. R. Taylor held remarkable Christmas gatherings each year. From every pa on the banks, a contingent, headed by its native teacher, would come down the river to Wanganui. The thousands who thus assembled were publicly examined for some days as to their Christian conduct, and some hundreds were admitted to the Holy Communion, which had to be celebrated in the open field. At one of these meetings two chiefs volunteered to carry the Gospel to a hostile tribe at Taupo. They went, and were both murdered. One of them, after being disabled, lingered from morning until sunset, and all through these hours of agony was praying for his murderers that they might receive the light.
But, on the whole, a note of sadness makes itself heard throughout the period. Some of the missionaries, like Maunsell, can "watch the clouds pass overhead," and thank God that the storms of war and of false accusation leave them untouched. But none can feel altogether happy amidst the troubles of his brethren. Hadfield is stricken with a mortal illness, and lies helpless for four years in Wellington. Reay dies at Waiapu, and Bolland at Taranaki. This last-named excellent priest was a brother-in-law of the saintly Whytehead, and carried some of the elder man's inspiring influence into the building and furnishing of the stone church at New Plymouth. His death was greatly mourned by his people, as well as by Selwyn, who confessed a special regard for this beautiful portion of his diocese, and now felt that a holy memory had shed upon it a peculiar lustre. Nelson was hardly keeping up to its early rate of progress, and its central mound, instead of a church bore an ugly fort, into which the nervous townsfolk passed over a drawbridge for their Sunday worship. Wellington was still unsatisfactory, its one wooden church serving for a congregation which was "neither so regular nor so good" as might have been wished. Altogether the diocese appeared to the bishop as "an inert mass which I am utterly unable to heave."
The fulcrum upon which the bishop depended in his efforts to heave the mass was St. John's College, and the college at this time was bringing troubles of its own. In 1847 it suffered a terrible visitation of typhoid fever. The bishop's own two little boys were stricken, and a son of Archdeacon W. Williams died. At one time no less than forty cases were calling for the attention of the staff. Through the care of the medical deacon, Dr. Purchas, the epidemic proved less deadly than had at one time seemed inevitable; but its appearance showed the unwisdom of combining a public hospital with an educational establishment. Even without this special plague, the daily routine was too rigorous to be maintained. English parents began to withdraw their sons from an institution in which Maoris so largely predominated; the Maoris could be kept at work only by constant supervision; the deacon schoolmasters, to whom the duty of superintendence was committed, were more eager to begin preaching than to perform thoroughly the humbler duties of the kitchen and the field. Those who were willing to do the humble work found that they had little time or energy left for intellectual pursuits. The ideal was not practical. More and more it became evident that the very continuance of the scheme depended upon the bishop himself. "Everything in the way of system," he wrote, "from the cleaning of a knife upwards, passes in some form or other through my mind." The result was "a turmoil of much serving, which had in it more of Martha than of Mary"; and he has to face the possibility of the failure of plans "conceived, it may be, in pride rather than in faith."
But the communistic ideal still held the bishop's mind, and at one time (1848) there seemed a prospect of its realisation in an unexpected spot—the Chatham Islands. To this lonely field a Lutheran mission had come in 1846, and the bishop sailed thither with great hopes of bringing it into his system. He visited these German folk—five men and three women—and found them indeed "living in that simple and primitive way which is the true type of a missionary establishment. They seem to be as one family, and to have all things in common." At first, it looked as though their chief might consent to receive Holy Orders in the English Church; but the negotiation fell through, and the bishop left the house in sore vexation, being careful to wipe the dust of his feet on the doormat as he passed. However admirable may have been its constitution, this mission was never a success. Many churches were standing in the island at this time, but the native Christians were either Wesleyans, or they looked rather to far-distant Otaki than to the German community at their doors.
Otaki itself was the other spot where a prospect offered. The Maoris there gave to the bishop 500 acres at Porirua for a college, which was to be similar to St. John's. The gift was thankfully received, and hopes were entertained of an establishment from which the deacons would go forth to serve the chapelries around Wellington, as those at St. John's ministered to the outlying suburbs of Auckland. But the attempt was never seriously made. No man could carry on two such undertakings. The bishop's words show the chastened feelings with which he approached the project: "I have selected a site at Porirua, on which I hope, in submission to Divine Providence, that Trinity College may be built; but I have learned this lesson by the losses with which we have been visited, not to presume upon anything that is not yet attained."
Such was the aspect of affairs in the critical year, 1850. Never had the Church been less able to stand a shock, and the action of the C.M.S. might have led to a dangerous schism. For Henry Williams was not the only man who was affected. Two other agents, Clarke and Fairburn, were included in the sentence of dismissal. The mission families were large, and were so bound together by the ties of inter-marriage, that a separation on a large scale seemed possible. But, thanks be to God, no schism occurred. Some of the best of the missionaries, indeed, resolved to leave the country, unless the intolerable imputation of treason and bloodshed could be removed. William Williams ventured to England without leave in order to vindicate the character of the mission, and, especially, that of his own brother. The statement which he laid before the authorities in London (1851) was so full and conclusive that the committee at once passed a resolution absolving the mission from all guilt in connection with the war. The archdeacon therefore resolved to return to his post, although he could not induce the Committee to remove the sentence which still lay upon his brother.
Henry Williams was thus marked out more distinctly than ever as the piacular victim or scapegoat of the mission. And, indeed, his deprivation seemed to have an expiatory effect. Once his dismissal had been made, an improvement began all round. In the first place, the bishop seems to have been genuinely sorry for the harsh action which he himself had done much to bring about. The Society had gone further than he intended, and now his pity was roused. He took no offence when his archdeacon began to hold services in a barn at Pakaraka, nor when (in 1851) he opened a church which his sons had built and endowed with one-tenth of their property. Patience had its right result, and by 1853 the ecclesiastical relations between the two were entirely cordial. Henry Williams was no longer an agent of the C.M.S., but he was still one of the diocesan clergy, and he was still an archdeacon. His own ministrations seemed to gain in power and effectiveness. Stubborn old pagan Maoris came to the services of his new church at Pakaraka. Kawiti, the main upholder of ancient superstitions in the north, was there baptised, and thither the remains of Hone Heke were brought to be deposited near his old master. On one occasion no less than 130 Maoris were baptised by Williams at one time.
With the bishop and the church also, there was a new beginning in a more chastened spirit. Before the end of the same year (1850) the bishop had attended an episcopal meeting in Sydney, where he was able to secure the support of the Australian Church for his infant mission to Melanesia. A few months later he welcomed his old Eton friend, C. J. Abraham, to whose able charge he committed St. John's College. But greater than either of these events, if regard be had to the permanent progress of the Church, was the arrival in New Zealand, during the month of December, of the first instalment of the Canterbury Pilgrims.
The colony which they had come to found was intended to be something different from anything yet seen in New Zealand or in any other part of the British Empire. It was to be a reproduction on a small scale of England itself, as England might be supposed to be if its poverty, its crime, and its sectarian divisions could be eliminated. It was not a missionary undertaking in the ordinary sense of that noble word, nor was it intended as an outlet for revolutionary spirits. It was rather an attempt to get away from revolution, and to return to something of the feudal organisation. The settlement was to have a bishop, but he was to have nothing in common with the occupant of an ordinary "vulgar" colonial see. He was to be a scholarly and well-endowed prelate, with a small and compact diocese in which there should be no dissenters, but where an aristocratic gentry and a loyal peasantry should be watched over by a numerous and well-paid clergy. To attract such a class there must be not only fertile land and easy means of communication, but also good churches and good schools. Churches and schools must therefore be provided, and that on a generous scale. The price of land must be fixed high enough to allow of a large sum being set aside for the endowment of religion and education.
Such were the views of Edward Gibbon Wakefield, in whose fertile brain the scheme originated. But he alone could never have carried it out. The New Zealand Company, with which he was still co-operating, had become discredited, and Wakefield himself did not stand well with Selwyn, whom he had never forgiven for going over (as he expressed it) from the side of the colonists to that of the missionaries. He must therefore secure the help of someone who would be trusted by the class which he wished to attract. The person whom he called to his counsels was John Robert Godley, a man of acute intellect and wide knowledge, of aristocratic connection and of real religious conviction. He was something of a dreamer, but his dreams were always noble ones. By his enthusiasm he was able to enlist the sympathies of several influential men among his old Christ Church (Oxford) friends. The revolutionary year, 1848, helped the project, and in the year following, Godley himself went out to New Zealand to prepare for the emigrants. This was an opportunity for trying to bring about an understanding with Bishop Selwyn. Mr. Gladstone, who was then Colonial Secretary, wrote to Godley: "You are the man, if any, to put colonising operations from this country into harmony with the bishop. If he can be got to look at the New Zealand Company propitiously, I hope all may go well."
One part, then, of Godley's mission was to "capture" the bishop. It was not long before the bishop captured Godley. The natures and ideals of the two men were, in fact, fundamentally akin. Simplicity of life, a self-denying clergy, the spiritual independence of the Church—these were no less dear to the Canterbury leader than they were to the bishop himself. There was all the greater necessity for insistence upon them from the actual circumstances of the colonists. In spite of its aristocratic patrons, the Association was not successful in selling much of its land. There was no money wherewith to build the promised churches and schools nor to pay the clergy. Instead of finding themselves in the receipt of assured stipends, these luckless men were often reduced to something like destitution. The trouble had been partly foreseen, and the Association had tried to find clergy possessed of private means. Some of the clerical immigrants were thus endowed, and they were able to render considerable service. But the system was repugnant to Godley. He found himself confronted with the same problem as had met Selwyn in the north. To the Association it appeared that such a body of clergy "with their possession of private estate, and its necessary occupation and management, would resemble the condition of a large portion of the English clergy as holders of glebe and tythes." To Godley, on the other hand, it appeared that such men would be "primarily settlers and landowners, and but secondarily priests."
This was not the only point on which Godley found himself at variance with his friends in London. In their eagerness to secure clergy of position for their colony, these had actually taken upon themselves to appoint a dean and canons for what was still a part of Selwyn's diocese. This step excited the indignation of the bishop. He was further angered by what he considered an unworthy attempt to interfere with the spiritual functions of the episcopal office. In a letter to Godley he complains bitterly of the "Erastianism" of this action, and of the attempt to make him an accomplice in such proceedings. "It is not my business," he wrote, "to censure the Association, but I must decline all further correspondence with them." This letter was written on May 6, 1851, and it seems to have kindled into flame Godley's smouldering wrath. On the 10th of June he sent off a despatch in which he took up exactly the same ground as the bishop, and resigned his office as a protest against the policy of the Association. His action had the desired effect; the shadowy "dean and canons of Lyttelton" vanished into obscurity, and the Association itself shortly afterwards came to an end. It was composed of many noble and high-minded men; but, as one of them put it, they were an "association of amateurs," and they made mistakes more through ignorance than through design. Wakefield taunted his former ally with the "delirious inconsistency" of his behaviour, but Godley himself felt (like Browning's Rabbi) that
This rage was right i' the main—
though he regretted the vehemence of his language: "That I protested abruptly, rudely, unfeelingly, and in such a way as justly to annoy those whom I ought to have cut my right hand off sooner than give pain to, I shall never cease to deplore; but of the protest itself I cannot repent. And if (as I believe) it had the effect of determining the Association to resign its functions immediately and entirely, I shall always hold that I have by that step conferred a greater benefit on the colony than by any other step that I have ever taken in its concerns."
Though helping thus to break up the government of the new colony, Bishop Selwyn fairly captured the affections of the colonists themselves. He arrived at Lyttelton within a few days of their landing, and held a meeting with the four clergy who had then arrived. He was with them again in February, and again in the following November, when he laid down directions for the management of their ecclesiastical concerns. In the bitter disappointment caused by the repeated failure to secure a bishop of their own, the clergy and laity of Canterbury were all the more ready to welcome the help and advice of one who, like Melchizedek, met them with the bread and wine of human kindness and of divine ministration. They were jealously sensitive of their independence, and of their reputation as being the Church Settlement par excellence, but Selwyn treated them with wise consideration. He removed one inefficient priest to the North Island; he urged the Christchurch clergy to interest themselves in the few Maori villages of Banks Peninsula; he gave his warm approval to the establishment of daily services at Lyttelton; but for the most part he left the direction of affairs (after the departure of Mr. Godley) in the hands of his commissary, Archdeacon Mathias. So charmed were the colonists with the bishop's personality that it became a constant saying among them that "the fractional part we are actually enjoying of Bishop Selwyn is better than a whole new bishop to ourselves."
The limits of this book permit of little beyond a bare mention of the Melanesian Mission, which during the years 1850 to 1853 was being successfully prosecuted. This was Bishop Selwyn's own idea; the islands were virgin soil; and their teeming peoples afforded an abundant outlet for the bishop's missionary zeal, which was rather hampered in New Zealand itself by the presence of the older missionaries. Every voyage resulted in some dark-skinned youths being brought to St. John's College for Christian education with the Maori and English scholars.
Vigorous and successful, however, as were the operations in the distant corners of the field, they were balanced by heavy trials nearer home. In 1851 the bishop lost by an early death his only daughter, and in 1853 a storm of evil swept through his college, and nearly broke the spirit of its founder. Two of his most trusted helpers flagrantly betrayed their trust; their evil influence spread to others, and for a time the whole establishment was dispersed. Indeed the Maori portion never reassembled. One student had stood out with conspicuous faithfulness amidst the general falling away, and this man (Rota Waitoa) the bishop now ordained to the diaconate—the first of his race to receive Holy Orders. On the last day of this "year of sorrow," the bishop and his family left the now partially dismantled college for a visit to England. They never lived in the old home after their return, and this moment may be considered as the end of the communistic experiment which had been so hopefully begun at Waimate in 1843. Like Marsden's seminary at Parramatta, this also had failed, and for the same reasons.
When the bishop arrived in London on May 5th, 1855, he met with a warm reception, and forthwith proceeded to carry out his policy of conciliation. Together with Sir George Grey, he visited the Church Missionary House, and pleaded with the Society for the reinstatement of Archdeacon Henry Williams. The Society had by this time come to realise the error of its action, for many of its supporters throughout the country had been agitating for an enquiry. The Committee were therefore not unwilling to accede to the wishes of the two august visitors, and a letter was soon sent to New Zealand, asking the archdeacon to overlook the past, and to take once more his honoured place on the staff of the mission. Henry Williams accepted the overture—tardy as it was—and from his residence at Pakaraka continued to carry on his old work during the remainder of his life.
But the bishop did more than render justice to one ill-used helper. He won over the Society itself to his side by proposing to establish three new bishoprics in New Zealand, each of which should have a missionary as its first head. The scheme was never fully carried out, as the course of our history will show; but its non-fulfilment was due to circumstances which could not at the moment be foreseen.
In the larger world of English life, also, the bishop made his mark. A course of Advent sermons before the University of Cambridge had a wonderful effect in stimulating the interest of the Church in foreign missions. An appeal for funds for Melanesia resulted in £10,000 being raised within a few weeks, and also in the gift of a new ship for the island work; a letter to a young friend who remembered Selwyn's parting sermon in 1841 secured the noble and saintly Patteson for the same mission; an interview with another of his early friends—Henry Harper, vicar of the Berkshire village of Strathfield Mortimer—won from this humble parish priest the promise to come out to New Zealand for the bishopric of Christchurch, as soon as a duly authorised request should be forthcoming. Altogether, Selwyn was able to feel that his visit had been successful in its objects, and he returned to his diocese in 1855 with new heart for the work, and new means for its effective prosecution.
As soon as possible after his arrival he proceeded to Canterbury, and once more convened a meeting of its principal churchmen. Ecclesiastical affairs had not prospered in this settlement as its promoters had anticipated. Godley had left in 1852, and the diocese had become wearied with the continual disappointment of its hopes of seeing a bishop of its own. The meeting at first urged Selwyn himself to take the position of Bishop of Christchurch, and on his refusing this offer, a unanimous resolution was carried in favour of his friend and nominee, the Rev. Henry John Chitty Harper. By Christmas, 1856, the new bishop had arrived, and was installed on Christmas Day in the little pro-Cathedral of St. Michael, Christchurch, amidst the eager expectation of the community. Selwyn was present at the arrival of his friend, and also at the installation service. At last he was able to hand over some part of his diocese to an episcopal colleague: that colleague, moreover, being a man whom he had known in his early days, and from whom he had received his own first impulse towards the work of the ministry.
At peace with Henry Williams and the other missionaries; at peace with the Church Missionary Society; at peace with the Canterbury colonists, and secure in the loyal friendship of their bishop; he could now press forward with a project which had long occupied his thoughts, viz., the binding together of the varied elements of the Church into one united and organised whole.
Note.—As throwing light upon the proposed bishoprics mentioned in this chapter, and also as showing the thoughts which were at this time passing through Bishop Selwyn's mind, it may be well to quote the following passage from a letter written by him in England to his friend the Rev. E. Coleridge (Aug. 14, 1854):
"If the organisation of the New Zealand Church had been a little more advanced towards completion, I should gladly have availed myself of the consent already obtained to the appointment of the Venerable Archdeacon Abraham to succeed me in the See of Auckland; the archdeaconries of Wellington, Waiapu, and Tauranga being, as it is proposed, erected into bishoprics, and placed under the episcopal care of the present Archdeacons Hadfield, W. Williams, and Brown. Knowing the difficulties which are thought to stand in the way of the creation of missionary bishoprics, I should then have gladly undertaken the charge of Melanesia as my own diocese, retaining only such an interest in New Zealand as might connect me still with the councils of its Church, and give me a central home and resting-place among my own countrymen."
The boldness and grandeur of this scheme have hardly been sufficiently realised. An ecclesiastical province divided into small dioceses, with missionaries at their head, and its primate spending his time in the foreign mission field: what an object lesson to the whole Church New Zealand would have presented!
ORGANISATION AND PROGRESS.
The inward life must not be separated in practice from the external unity of the body of Christ. The law of unity is the essence of its strength, its purity, and its holiness.
"The urgent necessity of mutual communion for preservation of our unity ... maketh it requisite that the Church of God here on earth have her laws." So wrote the judicious Hooker in that immortal work which came to Bishop Selwyn as a legacy from his great predecessor, Samuel Marsden. The bishop himself was well aware of this necessity. We have seen how he tried to bind the missionaries to himself by calling them together in synods in 1844 and in 1847. The canons which were passed by these gatherings were doubtless of some importance, but their chief value lay in the spirit of unity which they were calculated to evoke.
Legitimate and natural, however, as such gatherings must seem to us, they threw the Committee of the Church Missionary Society into "transports of alarm." In England the synodical action of the Church had been so long silenced, that any attempt to revive it was regarded as an act of priestly assumption, and an affront to the supremacy of the royal power. But Selwyn's action was only a little in advance of the time. In all the colonies, men were feeling after some form of church government by which laws could be made and unity preserved. The bishops were sent out from the mother Church with Royal Letters Patent, which seemed to confer upon their holders almost absolute power, but the colonies possessed no machinery by which this power could be enforced; and it was evident that some method must be devised by which the different members of the Church could be brought together, and enabled to make laws for its governance and well-being.
The method followed by Bishop Selwyn was that which he derived from the primitive Church. The bishop and his clergy formed a "synod" which could enact "canons" for the regulation of the faithful. But something more was evidently needed; and this, too, seemed to spring into existence in the memorable year 1850, which marked in so many ways the turn of the tide in the New Zealand Church.
The self-same month which witnessed the departure of Henry Williams from Paihia, beheld his great antagonist, Sir George Grey, laid upon a bed of sickness at New Plymouth. There is no absolute proof that the archdeacon's case was consciously before the governor's mind, though it is hard to think that it was not. But it is certain that his thoughts were drawn at this juncture to the question of the government and unity of the Church. As Bishop Selwyn put it long afterwards: "There was something more touching in the origin of that constitution than persons are generally aware of. The first draft of the present constitution was drawn by Sir George Grey on a sick bed at Taranaki; and it was the fruit of those feelings which come upon the mind in sickness, when a man sets aside thoughts of government and the cares of this world, and knows, as a Christian man, that he has something better to think of than the perishable things of this life. His Excellency has produced what has been of great spiritual benefit to the Church in this country."
The chief point about the governor's scheme was the inclusion of the laity in the government of the Church. Of course this was not an altogether original feature. It had already been adopted by the American branch of the Anglican communion. During the years that followed the promulgation of Grey's scheme, American theological halls were echoing to such sentiments as this: "The power of self-government is advocated over all the Colonial Churches of the British Empire. Why is it that the Churches in New Zealand and New South Wales are demanding synodical action and lay representation? It is our influence and our example." The American origin of the Grey document is clearly shown by the term "Convention," which was used to describe the proposed legislative body. The bishops were to sit apart in one house; clerical and lay representatives were to sit together, but to vote separately, in another. The provisions of the document were simply but clearly drawn, and they foreshadow in most points the completed constitution of 1857. One matter of detail was allowed to creep into the fundamental provisions: church pews might be appropriated, but not charged for!
When Selwyn received this draft, he at once expressed his willingness to adopt it if it should be supported by a considerable number of churchpeople. The governor therefore set himself to secure signatures to a letter urging its acceptance upon the bishop. In this he succeeded beyond his expectations. In Auckland the letter was signed by "the General, the Chief Justice, the principal military officers, by all the clergy in the neighbourhood, by all the principal merchants who are members of our Church, and by a large number of other persons." The total, in fact, reached 94; and the column is headed by the simple signatures, "G. Grey," and "Wm. Martin." A good body of signatures was appended from Taranaki, Wanganui, and Nelson; none from Wellington or the eastern district. The names of the brothers Williams, of course, do not appear, but some of the other missionaries were found willing to sign—Kissling, Maunsell, Morgan, Ashwell, and Taylor.
With this document the bishop sailed for Sydney, to attend the meeting of bishops already referred to. The Australian prelates were entirely in favour of synodical action, but they were not prepared to follow the Grey scheme in its entirety. Their plan was for bishop and clergy to constitute a "synod" (as in ancient times), but that lay representatives should at the same time hold a "convention," which should have the right of veto on certain of the decisions of the "synod." As the name "G. A. New Zealand" appears among the list of signatories, it may be presumed that he concurred in this rather clumsy scheme; but in the following year he acted in the opposite direction by inviting Mr. Godley and another layman to sit in conference with the clergy of the diocese of Christchurch.
The points of difference between the rival schemes do not appear in the next act. In 1852 the bishop put forth a pastoral letter, in which he called the attention of the churchmen of New Zealand to the absolute necessity for providing some church authority. The colony had just received its civil constitution: the Church must have one too. As to whether laymen should sit with the clergy or not, the bishop leaves the matter open. But he adopts a proviso upon which both Sir George Grey and the Australian bishops had insisted, viz., that whatever convention or synod might be set up, it should have no power to alter the doctrine and ritual of the Church of England, or the Authorised Version of the Bible.
No point in the final constitution of the New Zealand Church has been more criticised than this. What was the precise object of its insertion? Of course, the natural conservatism of the churchly mind would account for much, but not for all. What national church ever before tied its own hands in this way? But was the Church of New Zealand to be a national church? That was exactly the point which had chief influence with the statesmen and lawyers to whom the constitution is mainly due. To them the Royal Supremacy stood first. Nothing must be done which could in any way infringe upon the prerogatives of the Crown. Only in the possible case of a separation of Church and State in England, or in the case of a political separation of New Zealand from the Mother Country, could there be any liberty in these all-important points. Then the liberty might be absolute and complete.
But there was one man in New Zealand who saw farther than the rest. Godley would have none of the Grey scheme, and he persuaded his fellow churchmen of Canterbury to put forth a protest against it. Any plan for the government of the Church should emanate (they argued) from the episcopate, and should be dutifully accepted by the faithful. They themselves would therefore refrain from any detailed suggestions, but they strongly maintained the right of even the infant Church of New Zealand to deal, if necessary, with questions of doctrine and ritual, and even of the translation of the Scriptures. Cordially as they were attached to their Prayer Book and to their Bible, they yet could foresee a time when occasion might arise for change.
What Selwyn's own feeling on this matter might be, it is not easy to discover. But as, in their conversations at , he and Mr. Godley always found themselves in agreement, it seems not unlikely that on this point also the minds of the two men were in accord. But the bishop could not do as he would in this as in many other matters. The Committee of the C.M.S. had already taken alarm at a step which seemed likely to separate the colonial Church from that of the Mother Country, and they sent out instructions to their missionaries forbidding them to take part in the proposed convention. This was one of the reasons which prompted the visit of the bishop to England in 1854. Before he set sail, however, he had called meetings in all the different centres of population; at these meetings he had laid his scheme before the Church, and he had carefully codified the criticisms which were offered. In most localities the draft was accepted as it stood. Auckland seems to have devised the idea of uniting bishop, clergy, and laity in one chamber. Christchurch had lost its man of insight through Godley's departure, and it now swung round into a merely conservative position. It joined with the rest of the settlements in insisting upon the principle of the Grey scheme, by which the Prayer Book and Authorised Version of the Bible were declared to be outside the powers of any New Zealand synod.
The disappearance of Godley, with his visions of independence, made the task of the bishop more easy when he confronted the Committee of the Church Missionary Society. He was able to assure these cautious men as to the inoffensive character of his proposals. "The Committee now understood," writes their historian, Dr. Eugene Stock, "that no separation from the Church of England was intended; that the Queen's supremacy was recognised; that questions of doctrine and ritual would be excluded from the purview of the synods; and that the interests of the Maori Christians would be cared for." They accordingly withdrew their former instructions, and now signified their approval of the missionaries joining with the bishop in the proposed organisation of the Church.
This concession formed the answer of the Committee to Selwyn's proposal to found the missionary bishoprics mentioned in the last chapter, and it removed one of the most formidable obstacles in the way of a constitution. Another obstacle, hardly less formidable, disappeared of itself during the year after the bishop's return. This was the difficulty of obtaining State sanction for the proposed authority. Many attempts had been made by Mr. Gladstone and others to procure such sanction from the Imperial Parliament; but in 1856 the English legal authorities discovered, what seems so obvious now, that no State authorisation would be needed if the system could be based simply on voluntary compact. If any colonial Church wished to make rules for its own government, it was quite at liberty to do so, provided that these rules were held to apply only to such persons as were willing to be bound by them. Thus then it happened that, as the moral and personal obstacles were removed by patience and Christian wisdom, the legal ones fell of themselves, and now there remained no hindrance to the calling of a conference for the final settlement of the matter.
The conference met on May 14, 1857, in the little stone chapel of St. Stephen, near the residence of Sir William Martin, at Auckland. The occasion was felt to be one of extreme importance. Never before had the different elements of which the Church was composed been brought face to face together. Christchurch sent its new bishop and the Rev. J. Wilson. Archdeacon Abraham stood for the Selwyn type of clergy. Sir William Martin's thoughtful face was absent, but his views would be voiced by his friend Mr. Swainson, the former Attorney-General. Now that the Church was to be separated from the State, and organised on a voluntary basis, it is somewhat surprising to find the government of the day so strongly represented. The Premier (Stafford), the Attorney-General (Whitaker), and Mr. H. J. Tancred, the Postmaster-General, are all there. To balance these new men, we see the missionaries Maunsell, Brown, and Kissling. But still something is needed. Where are the leaders of former days? A sense of satisfaction is experienced when at last the brothers Williams enter together and take their seats. "All were very kind," wrote Archdeacon Henry, "and we were much pleased with the benevolent countenance of the Bishop of Christchurch."
The sittings of the conference lasted for five weeks. The long preliminary discussions had cleared up most of the points in advance: there was no question as to the desirableness of laymen taking an equal part with bishops and clergy in the proposed synods, nor was there any hesitation in pronouncing unalterable the provision which exempted the formularies of the Church and the Authorised Version of the Bible from synodical handling. But there were two points on which opinions differed widely. Canterbury insisted on diocesan independence, and the power of managing its own property. This claim was not thoroughly dealt with by the conference, and was destined to give trouble in the future. The real struggle lay between the group of Auckland laymen and the president, on the qualification to be required of those who should represent the laity in synods, and of those who should select them by their votes.
Two views were held, then as now, on this important matter. One side would limit the Church to such as are in full communion with her, and are actively interested in her welfare. The other would embrace within her fold as many as possible, even if their churchmanship and their Christianity should be but nominal. Bishop Selwyn took the former view, and in this attitude he would doubtless be supported by the missionary representatives, who were accustomed to a strict discipline in the Maori Church. Canterbury also stood on the same side. Godley himself had been its ardent advocate, and on this point at least his principles were not abandoned after his departure. They had even been accentuated by the Canterbury declaration of 1853, in which it was urged that the ecclesiastical franchise should be confined to persons who should not only declare themselves communicants of the Church, but should also disavow membership in any other religious denomination. This stringent requirement probably arose from an experience which Archdeacon Mathias mentions in a letter to Lord Lyttelton. Many had come out at the Association's expense as "Church of England" members, who yet turned out to be "professed dissenters," and some of them "dissenting preachers." The religious unity of the settlement was thus rendered impossible, and one of the aims of its founders defeated at the outset.
On this point therefore—a point of far more importance to the Church than the property question, which attracted the greater attention at the time—the bishop would be supported by the missionary clergy and by the Canterbury representatives. But he met with firm resistance from the Auckland laymen. These were men of "a fine conservative temperament," and they would agree to no proposal which should make the Church in New Zealand less comprehensive than the State-governed Church of the Mother Country. Their view is thus expressed by Carleton: The bishop "would have made the Church of England a close borough, to which formal admittance under rules prescribed would be required; the laymen, on the other hand, held that every baptised Englishman enjoyed church membership as a matter of course and right, until he should think fit to declare dissent."
Both of these opposing views have much to say for themselves; for both of them great names may be quoted in support. At the Auckland Conference, as throughout the whole after-history of our Church, it was the lay (or Arnoldian) view that triumphed: "The bishop, seeing no eagerness on the part of the laity, but, on the contrary, much quiet and thoughtful criticism, gave way upon every main point of difference, gracefully enough. Failure of cherished schemes had changed him much. But he was bent upon carrying something, and by gentle management he did. A scheme of fair working promise, with little to take exception to, was the result."
The document which was solemnly put forth on June 13th, 1857, as the "CONSTITUTION for associating together, as a Branch of the United Church of England and Ireland, the members of the said Church in the Colony of New Zealand," carried at its foot seventeen signatures, which are not the least interesting part of the whole. To those who follow the history of the Church, both before and after this promulgation of her authoritative act of government, what thoughts are suggested by the first four names of the list: "G. A. New Zealand," "H. J. C. Christchurch," "Henry ," "William Williams"! What controversies past and future, what agonies of mind, what silent heroism, what spiritual conquests, what believing prayer!
A word must be said, however, on the legal aspect of this constitution. As the early Christian congregations in the Roman Empire sometimes found it advisable to register themselves as burial clubs, since only thus could they obtain any legal status, so, in order to obtain a recognised position in the eyes of the law, the Church in New Zealand found it necessary to appear simply as a holder of trust property. Bishop Selwyn had prepared for this move by procuring the passing of an Act by the Legislative Assembly in 1856, which enabled any body of trustees to be incorporated in proper form. In 1858 the Church of New Zealand was formally brought under this enactment. This fact accounts for the rather conspicuous place which the property element holds in the constitution document. It was the one legal basis which was possible in the circumstances of the case. The endowments of the Church are held on condition of the observance of the provisions of the constitution by those who enjoy any of the proceeds of that property. In the eye of the law, the Church of this Dominion stands on precisely the same footing as any other body for which any property is held in trust.
Now that the Church had been set upon her feet (to use Mr. Gladstone's words to Godley), after the stilts of government support had been knocked away, it remained to be seen how she would walk. The first duty was to carry out the concordat which Selwyn had made with the C.M.S., and to found the missionary bishoprics. The scheme had been disallowed in 1854 by the Colonial Office, but now the way was open. The proposed diocese of Tauranga, indeed, was never pushed forward, but the others were soon set on foot. The new diocese of Wellington was offered to Archdeacon Hadfield, but his continued ill-health prevented his acceptance. The bishop therefore proposed the name of his talented and cultured friend, Archdeacon Abraham. The proposal was at once accepted by the Wellington churchmen, and the archdeacon proceeded to England for his consecration. Nelson also claimed a bishop of its own, and for this difficult post Selwyn recommended his friend Edmund Hobhouse, then Vicar of St. Peter-in-the-East at Oxford. This devoted man was also a fellow of Merton College in the University, and he had narrowly missed being appointed to the see of Christchurch two years before. With great physical strength, which enabled him to walk 30 or 40 miles a day, Hobhouse was yet a constant sufferer from headache, but his deep piety and his solid learning well qualified him for the episcopal office. The two bishops-elect were consecrated together (still under Letters Patent) on Michaelmas Day, 1858, and arrived in New Zealand during the first General Synod, which met under the new constitution in the city of Wellington in the month of March, 1859.
The most interesting feature of this gathering was the inauguration of a fifth bishopric—that of Waiapu. In this case the bishop's original plan was carried out in its exactitude, for no one but the "episcopally-minded" William Williams could well be thought of for such a post. The Letters Patent were brought out from England by Bishop Abraham, and the consecration was held, during the course of the session, in the little St. Paul's Church, on Sunday, April 3. A unique feature of the service arose from the fact that the four consecrating bishops were all younger than the veteran upon whom they laid their hands. The new bishop was "one whose age and experience," said Selwyn in his opening address, "has often made me feel ashamed that I should have been preferred before him, and to whom I have long wished to be allowed to make this reparation, by dividing with him the duties and responsibilities of my office." "It was a most delightful day," he afterwards wrote, "and one that I little expected to see when I first came to New Zealand. All seemed to be so thoroughly happy and satisfied with the appointment of the new bishops, as much as if each settlement had chosen its own bishop from personal knowledge.... I shall now go back to Auckland light in heart ... and I hope to be enabled by God's blessing to prosecute the mission work with more vigour in consequence of the cutting off of the southern portions of New Zealand."
This day of happiness marks the end of a distinct epoch in our history. The decade which began in 1850 amidst confusion and disunion, had brought year by year some healing strengthening power, until it closed with a united Church, an increased clergy, and a multiplied episcopate.
Not a day too soon was the constitutional fabric finished. Already the clouds were gathering which heralded the coming storm.
TROUBLE AND ANGUISH.
The period which begins with the year 1860 presents an aspect so desolate that it is hard at first to find a single cheering feature. The prospect which seemed so bright in 1859 is quickly obscured by mist and storm. Guiding-posts are hard to find; the faces of friends seem hostile in the gloom; voices of appeal sound dim and confused amidst the moan of the tempest.
How little did Selwyn think on that autumn day in 1859 when, from his presidential chair, he looked in gladness of heart upon his four new bishops, that at the same hour a bolt was being forged by the Government in Auckland which would shatter the most hopeful of his plans! How little could he expect that, of the bishops before him, one (Williams) would be driven from his home, and another (Hobhouse) harried from his diocese; or that he himself would be mobbed and insulted, turned back on roads which he had been accustomed to travel, fired at by men who had hitherto listened obediently to his words! How little could he foresee the ruined churches, the abandoned missions, the apostacy of the tribes, or the closing of large tracts of country against himself and his clergy! How incredible would have seemed the intelligence that amongst his flock a heresy would arise which should demand the life of a Christian minister as an acceptable sacrifice!
Yet, though at first everything looks uniformly dark and hopeless, the eye comes in time to form a truer picture. Shapes of strange magnificence make themselves dimly visible; noble characters appear all the grander for the strain through which they pass; principles and ideals through stern conflict are tested and displayed. Half a century has well-nigh passed since the events took place; the chief actors have disappeared from the earthly scene; a calmer and more discriminating treatment ought now to be possible than could be secured amidst the passions of racial and political strife.
At first it seemed as though the new constitution were destined to work smoothly. The organisation and first meeting of the General Synod was followed up by the calling together of the clergy and laity of the various dioceses in local synods—each under the presidency of its bishop. In 1861 Selwyn took advantage of the newly-acquired ecclesiastical freedom to consecrate John Coleridge Patteson to the missionary bishopric of Melanesia; and this saintly man went forth to the ten years of faithful work which were to be brought to a sudden close by his martyrdom in 1871. At the end of the same year (1861) Bishop Williams called together a synod of the diocese of Waiapu, at which nearly all the members belonged to the native race, and all the proceedings were conducted in the native tongue. An opportunity was thus afforded for that sagacity in counsel and that eloquence of speech for which the Maori race was famed.
But the opportunity came too late. Maori Christianity had been left so long in an unorganised and immature condition that it had begun to develop itself on lines of its own. The march of events had brought about a situation which was only partially foreseen, and, even if foreseen, could hardly perhaps have been prevented. The subject is one of peculiar difficulty, but as it has a direct bearing on problems of to-day, an attempt must be made to elucidate its main features.
The organisation of the New Zealand Church seemed to leave no place for the rule of the Church Missionary Society. Selwyn wished it to resign its lands and its agents immediately into the hands of the general synod. The Society was not quite ready to do this, but it began to withdraw in a gradual way. It sent out few, if any, fresh missionaries to take the places of those who had died or retired, and it began to curtail its monetary grants. It had spent (according to Mr. Swainson's estimate) some quarter of a million pounds on New Zealand: it might well ask, Had not the time arrived for its funds to be employed elsewhere?
But if the white missionaries were to be allowed gradually to depart, their places must be taken by natives of the country. Year after year the Society was urgent in asking for the ordination of Maoris, not only to the diaconate but also to the priesthood, in order that the Maori Christians might have an opportunity of receiving the Holy Communion at least once a quarter. But this the bishop would not do. He was favourable to such a policy in the abstract, but he and the missionaries themselves were so much impressed with the educational and social deficiencies of even the best of the Maori converts, that they shrank from their admission to Holy Orders. Selwyn had hoped that St. John's College would have supplied him with men of higher education and more civilised habits, but his expectations had been dashed by the dispersion of 1853, and his confidence was slow to spring again.
On his return from England, he had opened a theological college for Maoris at Parnell, where the married students might live in separate cottages, and where they might have the benefit of the freely-given instructions of Sir William Martin. But none of the candidates were considered fit for Holy Orders, and up to 1860 the Bishop had ordained but one deacon beside Rota Waitoa. If it had not been for another small college which was begun by the Rev. W. L. Williams at Waerenga-a-hika, and which enabled Bishop Williams, soon after his consecration, to ordain six Maoris to the diaconate, the number of native clergy at the opening of this period would have been small indeed.
The necessity for more ordinations was the chief reason why the Church Missionary Society so earnestly advocated an increase of bishops. The establishment of the diocese of Waiapu certainly justified their hope to a large extent, for not only did Bishop Williams admit a number of Maoris to the ministry, but his example encouraged Selwyn himself to go forward more boldly. His reluctance was due partly to sad experience, partly to his own high ideals; and it would seem to afford another instance of the truth which his career so often exemplified, "The best is the enemy of the good." Some of the men who were to play leading parts in the coming time were among those whom his strictness rejected.
Chief among these was that Tamihana Tarapipipi who appeared before us in an earlier chapter. From the light-hearted youthfulness of the "bonnet" episode, this young son of the great Waharoa had passed into a grave and thoughtful manhood. After his father's death, his ability had led to his being elected chief instead of his elder brother. Together with a strong desire for knowledge there was a certain dourness in Tamihana's nature, and when he applied for admission to St. John's College, a question is said to have arisen about smoking. The rules of the institution prohibited this pleasant vice, and Tamihana would not give up his pipe. Strange to think of the tremendous consequences which flowed from that simple refusal!
Thrown back upon himself, and seeing no teacher but Archdeacon Brown, who visited Matamata from time to time, the young thinker formed his ideals alone. Experience soon taught him the necessity of law. Loose-living and dishonest pakehas brought disease and trouble among his people, while the old authority of the chiefs was weakening day by day. The Old Testament offered laws which seemed framed for his own case, and, in studying his Bible, Tamihana was struck with the important part which was played by the nationalism of the Chosen People. One verse in particular took his attention: "Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose; one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother."—(Deut. xvii. 15.) Here, surely, was divine sanction for the principle of nationalism and of kingship: might not the cure for the woes of his race be found in a unified State under an elected king of their own blood?
The ideas which were thus working in the young chief's mind were forced into active expression by the treatment he received from those in authority. Early in 1857 he visited Auckland, with the object of making an appeal to the governor for good government among the Maoris. Instead of a welcome, he received a snub from the high officials, who scornfully advised him to go home and help himself. This rebuff drove him to action. Sending messages far and wide, he convened a great assembly of the inland tribes at Rangiaohia in the Waikato. The concourse afterwards moved to Ihumatao on the shores of the Manukau, and within a few miles of Auckland, where the conference was at that very time drafting the church constitution. The one gathering consisted of highly educated clergy and lawyers, the other of unlettered or self-taught Maoris; but the object of both gatherings was the same, and so were the principles which both professed. A Christian law was the object of them both. Tamihana would not allow himself to be put forward as king: he proposed for that honour the aged Waikato chief, Te Wherowhero or Potatau; but he, as king-maker, was the life and soul of the movement. The kingship thus set up was a sorry enough thing in outward appearance, but its flag bore upon it the Cross of the Redeemer; its inauguration at Ngaruawahia (in 1858) was accompanied with prayers and hymns; its object was to bar out intoxicating liquors from the inland tribes, and to keep them from unwholesome contact with the white man and his ways. As Marsden had tried to found a Christian community at Rangihoua, Selwyn at St. John's, and Godley in Canterbury, so Tamihana attempted to set up a Christian State in the interior of the North Island.
It is sad to think that he did not meet with more sympathy from the heads of Church and State. "The members of the Government in Auckland," wrote Sir John Gorst, "did not like Te Waharoa [Tamihana]. Few Europeans knew him personally, and it was the fashion to believe him insincere." At a preliminary meeting at Taupo, the Rev. T. Grace did indeed join in the proceedings, but the colonial government soon moved the governor to petition the C.M.S. for the missionary's removal. Bishop Selwyn left the Taurarua Conference to oppose the king movement at Ihumatao. The one man who saw it in a favourable light was Sir William Martin. To him it was "not an enemy to be crushed, but a god-send to be welcomed." The governor, Colonel Gore-Browne, was weak; but he felt that if he could have Sir William Martin and Bishop Selwyn on his council for native affairs, he might be able to walk uprightly. His proposal, however, was declared "inadmissible," and the well-meaning governor was soon hurried into a policy from which he at first had shrunk.
The beginning of the year 1860 found the king movement still friendly to the British rule. Its influence did not extend much beyond the Waikato country, and it was discountenanced by the tribes who lived under the influence of Henry Williams in the north, William Williams in the east, and of Hadfield and Taylor in the south-west. Hadfield's staunch ally, Wiremu Kingi te Rangitaake, had, in 1848, carried his tribe back to Taranaki, where his ancestral possessions lay, and he too kept aloof from the movement. This chief, upon whom was to turn the future course of events, still stood forth as a champion of the white man; and to him New Plymouth was indebted in 1851, as Wellington had been in 1843 and 1846, for preservation from hostile attack.
Yet this was the man whom the Government now drove into opposition and rebellion. What were his crimes that he should be so treated? In the first place he and his tribe owned the beautiful Waitara lands which lay close to New Plymouth, and a Naboth is always open to the old charge, "Thou didst blaspheme God and the king." Governor Gore-Browne, upon whom lay the direct responsibility in native matters, was an honourable man and the brother of a highly-respected English bishop; but, Ahab-like, he was brought to regard Te Rangitaake as a "rebel" and "an infamous character." And who was the Jezebel in this case? The Government of the day had much to do with the governor's decision, yet the Stafford ministry is looked upon as the ablest and not the least upright that has occupied the treasury benches in New Zealand. These ministers also (it is said) had been misled. By whom? The blame is laid upon the land commissioner, Mr. Parris, whose later reports were certainly very misleading. Yet Parris began with a desire to be fair to all parties. He also succumbed to outside pressure. If we enquire further, we come upon the ugly serpent of sectarian jealousy. Taranaki was in the Wesleyan sphere of influence: Te Rangitaake was a churchman. For the crime of belonging to the Church of England he incurred the violent enmity of a certain Wesleyan minister, who had never forgiven Bishop Selwyn for refusing to allow him to sign a church burial register. Yet this minister thought himself in the right, and could at least point to a murder which had been committed, not by Rangitaake himself, but by another Maori with whom this chief had formed an alliance. Who can judge in such a case, especially when the tangled skein is still further complicated by the action of an astute Maori whose affections had been wounded by a damsel who deserted him in order to become the daughter-in-law of Te Rangitaake? But it is no pleasant thought that the decision to seize the Waitara was made by the Government in Auckland during the very days when the first General Synod was sitting in Wellington, and that amongst the men who thus forced on an unjust and unholy war were at least two who had sat in the Taurarua Conference and had helped to shape the constitution of the Church.
The war thus begun in injustice and ingratitude, was marked by what seemed a contemptuous defiance of religion. Wiremu Kingi was slow to take up arms, and when the surveyors appeared upon the disputed land he merely sent women to drive them off. The governor summoned Kingi to come to him at New Plymouth, offering him a safe-conduct for three days. The chief replied that he was afraid to trust himself among the soldiers, and proposed a meeting on safer ground. No answer was vouchsafed to him; the three days expired on Saturday night, March 3, 1860, and on Sunday the governor began the war. Two of Te Rangitaake's pas were taken by the troops, and his place of worship burnt to the ground.
The news of the aggression spread quickly through the island. Selwyn and Hadfield sent protests and petitions to the Government and to the Queen. The war had been hurried on with such secrecy that the bishop had "heard nothing of the matter till the order was given for the troops to embark." Up to the time when the soldiers were sent to Taranaki, he was "in the most friendly communication with the Governor and his ministers." But now, by these very men, his appeals for an enquiry were spurned, and he was peremptorily forbidden to interfere between the Government and the native race.
Others beside bishop and missionaries were stirred with indignation. "The affair at Taranaki," wrote the bishop, "was announced by the government, and looked upon by the natives, as the beginning of a new policy for the whole of New Zealand." As such it was received by the king-maker in the north. Hitherto there had been little sympathy between himself and the Taranaki chief. Now they began to draw together. Patriotism and religion formed a continually strengthening bond. "It was this that disquieted the heart of Te Rangitaake," wrote Tamihana, "his church being burnt with fire." His own heart was disquieted also; and though he would not yet adopt Rangitaake's cause, he could not prevent some of the hot-heads of his tribe from going south to join in the Taranaki war. His own flag at Ngaruawahia became the rallying point for the disaffection which was now spreading through the land. Deputations from distant tribes were received in state by the Maori King; allegiance was tendered by many of those who had hitherto held aloof; lands were presented, and tribute pledged.
Amid the growing excitement, Tamihana restrained the natural feelings of his heart. "Let us not take up an unrighteous cause," he urged; "let us search out the merits of the case, that if we die, we die in a righteous cause." The kingdom was not set up for war but for peace; and the aged Potatau, who died in June, repeated with almost his last breath its watchwords, "RELIGION, LOVE, AND LAW."
The war in Taranaki lasted until June, 1861, when, through Tamihana's efforts, a kind of peace was arrived at. One missionary, at least, played an important part in the operations. The intrepid Wilson was stirred at the news that the Maoris, after one of their victories, had given no quarter to the prisoners. He therefore set out for Taranaki, and went amongst the Maori camps, urging the observance of the laws of civilised warfare. His life was often in extreme danger, but the white bands which he always wore usually secured the respect of friend and foe. After much discouragement, he succeeded in gaining the consent of the Waikatos to spare the wounded, to exchange prisoners, and to tend the sick. His old naval training gave him acceptance with the Imperial forces, and he did much to promote a better feeling on both sides.
Outside the war area, some of the tribes who were most amenable to missionary influence were brought together by the governor in July, 1860, and held a great meeting in the grounds of the Melanesian Mission headquarters at Kohimarama, near Auckland. After long discussion they expressed their determination not to join in the king movement, though they openly questioned the justice of the war. But the king-maker held to his scheme. With a profound philosophy which has hardly yet been mastered by European statesmen, he pointed to the actual existence of different and differing nations in the world. "The only bond," he said, "is Christ." Why should the Maori lose his nationality? Why should not he in his own way co-operate with the pakeha in upholding the law of the one Christ? "This upright stick," he said, "is the governor; this one is the king; this horizontal one which I lay across the other two is the law of God and of the queen; this circle which I draw round the whole is the authority of the queen which guards us all."
Nor did his actions fall below his words. Justice was administered with strict impartiality, and Tamihana himself founded a boarding-school, which contained at one time upwards of a hundred children. In order to provide for the maintenance of these scholars, he and his sons carried on a farm at Peria. Wilson relates how, when he went on a peace-making mission to this place, and was forced to spend the cold night amongst Maoris who showed no readiness to receive his message, a hand was laid upon him in the dim dawn, and the voice of the king-maker said, "You will perish in this place. Arise, come down and stay with me." After breakfast, he found Tamihana at his plough: "The day was wet; he was soaked with rain and bedaubed with mud. The great man—for such he really is—was dressed in a blue serge shirt and corduroy trousers, without hat, and toiling like a peasant." The missionary was then taken to the school, where this Maori Tolstoi gave the children some practical problems in arithmetic, and a dictation lesson from his favourite Book of Deuteronomy.
The latter part of 1861 saw a temporary improvement in the situation. War was for the time suspended. The Stafford ministry were driven from office by the vote of one of their friends, who felt the injustice of their war policy, and—most important of all—the weak governor was removed, and Sir George Grey sent back to take his place. Past suffering did not prevent Henry Williams and his friends from welcoming one who, with all his faults, was a real lover of the native race; and the governor soon showed that he had not forgotten the mistakes he had formerly made. One of his first acts was to go off by himself to Otaki, and there to spend a day or two with Hadfield—son-in-law to Henry Williams. "Of course," writes the latter, "they were agreed upon all points." Somewhat later he called upon the patriarch himself at Pakaraka, and consulted with him as to the best means of bringing peace to the land. With generous trustfulness Henry Williams wrote, "I have every confidence in Sir George, but he is in want of men to carry out his views."
The period from October, 1861, to May, 1863, is thus interesting, as being the last occasion in our history when it can be said that the voice of the Church was really effective in guiding the policy of the country. The indignant protests of Selwyn, Hadfield, and Martin had taken effect; an enquiry into the Waitara case proved the illegality of the Government's action. The new governor tried to establish a system of local self-government among the Maoris, and to atone for the misdeeds of the past. Henry Williams described the situation with characteristic bluntness: "Of the feeling of the old ministry and their partisans, there was no mistake: 'Hang the missionaries and bishops for having caused the rebellion.' These persons are now so still and quiet you may hear a pin drop, even in the bush.... Nothing is now heard but 'the dear Maoris; who would hurt a hair of their heads?'"
The brief period of peace in the north brought troubles of its own to Bishop Selwyn and the Church. The second General Synod was summoned to meet at Nelson in February, 1862. On the day appointed for the opening of the assembly there were not enough members to form a quorum. For several days this deficiency continued, and the synod could not be properly constituted. The members occupied themselves with passing resolutions which were validated at the end of the period, when at last a quorum was secured.
The chief reason for the smallness of this gathering was the attitude of the diocese of Christchurch. This important part of the Church was in a state of rebellion against the constitution. None of its principal clergy had attended the synod of 1859; no representative but the bishop came to that of 1862. Its grievances were of various kinds: it found fault with the "property" element, and the "mutual compact" idea, and the unalterable fundamentals, and all the other features upon which the Auckland laity had insisted. It seemed as though the spirit of Godley had returned in all its trenchant and uncompromising churchmanship. But the most definite of all the Canterbury grievances arose from the claim of the General Synod to own and administer all the church property in the country. Bishop Selwyn had handed over to the first synod more than seventy trust properties, which had been hitherto vested in himself as corporation sole: he expected the diocese of Christchurch to do the same. But this the Canterbury churchmen would never do. Rather than do it, they resolved to secede from the Church of New Zealand, and to reconstitute themselves on a diocesan basis. They appealed to the primate to "throw over" the constitution altogether, and to start afresh on what they considered more churchlike principles.
Such was the ecclesiastical situation for the next three years—1862 to 1865. The position was serious, and there was just the possibility of a schism. But it was hardly more than a possibility. Selwyn seems not to have disquieted himself very greatly about the matter. For there was one saving feature in the case. Christchurch could hardly set up for itself on a diocesan basis without its bishop; and Bishop Harper was Selwyn's friend, and he was loyal to the constitution. The whole synod of Christchurch might pass threatening resolutions—as it did in 1863 and 1864—but as long as Henry Harper occupied the bishop's seat they were bound to be blocked by the episcopal veto. And before the next General Synod the Church was to pass through such tragic occurrences that the question at issue could no longer command the same primary and absorbing interest.
RUIN AND DESOLATION.
The armed truce which lasted from June, 1861, to May, 1863, was marked by strenuous efforts on both sides to bring about a lasting peace. To appreciate the gravity of the situation, it is necessary to remember that the European settlements were still but a fringe round the coast, while the whole of the interior of the island was occupied by the Maoris. But that race had so dwindled away during the last half-century, and the Europeans had poured in so fast during the last twenty years, that the relative numbers were now not very unequal. If the Maoris had been united, they might even yet have driven the immigrants from the land. That they were not united in any such hostile policy was due almost entirely to the influence of the missionaries. There would have been no hostility at all if just and considerate treatment had been the rule throughout.
In justification of this statement we have only to follow the action of the king-maker, Tamihana, of the old "king," Potatau, and even of his successor, Tawhiao. As long as he lived, old Potatau said Amen at the end of the prayer for the Queen. Even when many of the "king's" adherents had joined the Taranaki army, which was fighting for its life against the Imperial troops, the prayer was still offered up day by day without curtailment, though perhaps with some misgiving, that her majesty might be strengthened to "vanquish and overcome all her enemies." Sir George Grey established Mr. Gorst as magistrate and schoolmaster in the heart of the Waikato. The native authorities would allow no one to appear as a suitor in his court, but they took an interest in his school, and visited it from time to time.
But Taranaki still seethed with discontent, and murders sometimes occurred. Tamihana's position became more and more difficult. He convened a great meeting on Oct. 23, 1862, at Peria, to discuss the Waitara and other grievances. It began with solemn evensong, and on the following Sunday morning Tamihana himself preached an eloquent sermon from the text, "Behold, how good and joyful a thing it is, brethren, to dwell together in unity." In fervid language he urged the cessation of all inter-tribal quarrels, and the unification of the race under the king's flag. Bishop Selwyn was present, and in the afternoon preached from the same text on the need for a still larger unity, which should embrace both nations under the flag of the Queen. Tamihana was touched by this appeal, and made another attempt to induce Rangitaake to submit his claim to arbitration. The chief refused, and the king-maker was driven to the conviction that his power was beginning to decline. It was passing into the hands of the more violent Rewi, who longed for war with the pakeha as keenly as some of the Taranaki settlers longed for war with the Maori.
To understand the positions of the king party and of the colonists, it is necessary to form a picture of the frontier line. From Ngaruawahia, the Maori king's capital, the River Waikato flows northward till it reaches a point not much more than 40 miles from Auckland. Here it takes a sudden turn to the westward. Its previous course may be compared to the upright stem of the letter T: from this point it forms the left arm of the cross. The right arm of the T is supplied by the smaller River Mangatawhiri, which here falls into the Waikato. The cross of the T extended from the western sea almost to the Hauraki Gulf, and divided the country of the "king" from that of the white man. It was quite near enough to the capital to fill the Aucklanders with anxiety, and on one occasion, when a few turbulent spirits broke through the boundary, the settlers on the Manukau left their homes in alarm.
Sir George Grey was genuinely anxious to avoid war, but he tried to cow the Maoris by driving a military road from Auckland to a point just outside the frontier line, by depositing bridging material upon the bank of the Mangatawhiri, and by sending a war steamer up the Waikato. In the early part of 1863 he endeavoured to deal justly with the Waitara by holding an enquiry into Te Rangitaake's claims over the block. It was found that the chief's rights were valid, as Martin and Selwyn had all along maintained, and the governor at once resolved to give back the land unjustly seized. Unfortunately, his ministers were slow to give their consent, and the delay spoiled what would otherwise have been welcomed as an act of grace. Moreover, he himself made the error of first taking military possession of a block in South Taranaki, which the Maoris were holding as a pledge for the restitution of Waitara, and they were naturally led to distrust the governor's good faith. A party of British soldiers were ambushed and killed before the offer to give back the Waitara was proclaimed, and again the flames of war broke out. The governor ordered the Auckland army to cross the Mangatawhiri River, and the act was taken as a declaration of hostilities. "It is now a war of defence," said Tamihana; "nothing is left but to fight."
The country upon which the governor thus launched his 10,000 English troops was one which was little known to Europeans, but it certainly was not savage. The Austrian geologist, Hochstetter, who explored it four years previously, found hardly any white men except the missionaries; but he was struck with the order, the reverence, and the prosperity which were seen in every part. Rangiaohia, where the "king" had his abode, is thus described:
"Extensive wheat, maize, and potato plantings surround the place; broad carriage roads run in different directions; numerous herds of horses and cattle bear testimony to the wealthy condition of the natives; and the huts scattered over a large area are entirely concealed by fruit-trees. A separate race-course is laid out; here is a court-house, there a store; farther on a mill on a mill pond; and high above the luxuriant fruit-trees rise the tapering spires of the Catholic and Protestant churches. I was surprised in entering the latter sanctuary at beholding a beautifully painted glass window reflecting its mellow tints in my wondering eyes."
Such was the land which was now to bear the ravages of war. Mr. Gorst and the missionaries were commanded to depart. Archdeacon and Mrs. Maunsell lingered to the last, and only escaped by walking all night through the thick bush till they reached the boundary river.
The military operations do not come within the scope of this work. Suffice it to say that the "king's" forces were soon defeated and his capital occupied. But, like "a fire in the fern," hostilities kept breaking out in unexpected places throughout the island for several years. The honours of the war were certainly not to the British army, though it showed no lack of bravery. But the ringing defiance of the "ake, ake, ake" of the hardly bestead and famishing garrison of Orakau will always remain one of the world's heroic memories; while the English soldiers, with their general, soon sickened of a war on behalf of greedy settlers against such magnificent opponents as the Maoris proved themselves to be.
While recognising, however, the gallantry of the Maoris, the world has hitherto taken little account of the high moral character of the king-movement. A conspicuous example of this quality is afforded by the career of Henare Wiremu Taratoa. Baptised and taught by Henry Williams, after whom he was named, this man had been afterwards trained at St. John's College, and had actually taken a part in the founding of the Melanesian Mission. When at length he was pronounced unfit for the sacred ministry on account of his impetuous disposition, he became a teacher in the mission school at Otaki. Here he remained until 1861, when the governor's aggressive policy determined him to cast in his lot with his threatened countrymen. Settling in Tauranga, a place which became the scene of military operations in 1864, he joined in the fighting at the Gate Pa, where the Imperial troops sustained their most severe defeat. But he had never forgotten his Christian training. On arrival at Tauranga, he set up a "school of instruction in arithmetic and christening." He then organised a system of councils, which regulated both civil and religious matters. The result was that "the people feared to do wrong, and nothing but good order prevailed." When war broke out, his rules were strikingly humane. There must be no ill-treatment of women or non-combatants; no soldier once hit must be shot a second time; if an enemy were hungry he must be fed; fighting must never begin on a Sunday (as all the British campaigns had done), but rather on a Friday, "that being the day on which Christ was crucified."
These rules were not vain ones with Taratoa and his men. Through the night after the conflict at the Gate Pa, Henare tended the English wounded, one of whom, in his dying agonies, thirsted for a drop of water. There was none in the pa, nor within three miles on the Maori side of it, but Taratoa threaded his way through the English sentries in the darkness, and returned with a calabash of water to slake his enemy's thirst. By the side of each wounded Englishman there was found in the morning some small water-vessel, placed there by the Maoris before they deserted the fort.
In spite of their success at the Gate Pa, the Maoris were soon afterwards beaten at Te Ranga (June 21), and in this battle the humane Taratoa was killed. Upon his body was found a little book of prayers which he had compiled and used. It concluded with the apostolic precept which he had obeyed at the risk of his life, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink."
Taratoa's laws of war were far from being observed by his "civilised" opponents. In sadness and shame we read of the devastation of the once smiling Rangiaohia, and of the utter destruction, there and throughout the country, of crops and houses. Hostilities were followed up by wholesale confiscation of the Maoris' lands—a measure which was to some extent the real object of the war. Maddened by defeat, by the loss of lands and homes, by hunger, and by disease which followed hunger, the Maoris were at last ready to doubt the truth of the religion which the white man had brought them.
The match was soon laid to the train. An old man in Taranaki announced that he had received the revelation of a new religion, suited to the Maori people. Like the Arabian Mohammed, Te Ua was considered to be a person of weak intellect; like Mohammed, he claimed to have received his revelation from the Angel Gabriel; like the Arabian prophet again, he put forth a mixture of Judaism and heathenism which sanctioned polygamy, and whose propagation was to be carried on by the sword. A trifling success over a small English troop gave the necessary impetus to the movement, and soon bands of ardent Hauhaus (as they were called) were traversing the island, and winning over crowds of restless and dissatisfied people. By making their listeners walk round a pole, chanting a strange jargon in which a few Latin words can be recognised, they mesmerised the susceptible Maoris, and gained complete control over their minds.
The attention of the Hauhaus was turned first to the south; but, at Otaki, Hadfield's influence once more availed to save the settlement, and to block the road to Wellington. At Wanganui, Taylor's Maoris stood firm in their loyalty, and in a desperate battle on the island of Moutoa drove back the enemy at fearful loss to themselves (May 14, 1864). Some months later, however, a second attack was made on Wanganui, and the crisis brought out the magnificent heroism of another of Selwyn's old students, "John Williams" Hipango. There had been no rejection in his case, but he had studied so hard by dim candlelight that his eyesight was affected, and he was obliged with great sorrow to give up his hope of entering the ministry. At the time of the attack he occupied a responsible position among the Maoris, and now he took command of the defence. The enemy sent four men to lie in ambush and kill him, but Hipango caught them, fed them, and sent them away unhurt. The next night ten men were sent for the same purpose; they too were caught, and they too were released. "I will not," said Hipango, "be the first to shed blood." Next day, Feb. 23rd, 1865, the Hauhaus came forward in open attack. They were completely defeated, but in the hour of victory a ball struck John in the chest. He was buried at Wanganui with military honours, white men carrying their deliverer's body to the grave.
In the same month a band of the fanatics reached Opotiki in the Bay of Plenty. The mission station at this place was now under the charge of Carl Sylvius Volkner, a fair-haired, blue-eyed German, who had been ordained by Bishop Williams in 1860. He had acquired great influence over the people, and had built a church and a school; but so threatening had the aspect of things become that he had taken his young wife for safety to Auckland, as Mr. Grace had done his family from Taupo. The two missionaries returned in a schooner on the first of March to Opotiki, bringing food and medicines for the sick and starving people. Their vessel was descried just at the time when the Hauhaus were indulging in one of their wild orgiastic dances. Their leader, Kereopa, announced that their god demanded a victim. On arrival in the river the schooner was seized by the excited crowd. After several hours of anxious suspense, the missionaries were ordered on shore, where, amidst taunts and revilings, they were conducted to a small house, there to await their fate.
The hours of respite were not wanting in consolation. The cottage was not locked nor guarded; the prisoners were even able to recover their belongings; the sailors who shared the peril gave the best end of the little room to the two clergy, and joined them heartily in their evening prayers. But the Hauhaus were working themselves up in the Roman Catholic chapel to a devilish frenzy, and the noise of their shouting could be heard long after darkness had fallen. The missionaries passed a sleepless night, sustained only by the evening psalms and by one another's society.
The morning of the second of March brought no relief to their anxiety. Efforts for a ransom failed, and the captives fell back upon their unfailing refuge—the psalms for the day. These were startlingly appropriate to their situation, though hardly calculated to raise their spirits very much. But his companion could not help being struck with the calmness of Volkner's manner, and the beautiful smile upon his face. Like a more illustrious sufferer,
He nothing common did, or mean,
Upon that memorable scene.
At one o'clock the two friends prayed together for the last time. The psalms had now become terrible in their urgency:
Eating up my people as if they would eat bread.
Their feet are swift to shed blood.
Swift indeed! Before an hour had passed, a number of armed men appeared and summoned Volkner to go with them. "Let me go too," said his companion; but he was forced back with the ominous words, "Your turn will come next." The young German was marched to a spot near his church, and stripped of his coat. A willow-tree was near at hand, and he was soon stationed beneath it. He asked for his Prayer Book, which had been left in his coat pocket. When it was brought, he knelt some time in prayer. On rising, he shook hands with his murderers, and quietly said, "I am ready." With strange inconsistency his executioners continued shaking hands with him until the moment when he was hoisted up.
An outburst of demoniac savagery followed on the cutting down of the martyr's body. The head was severed from the trunk, and the blood was greedily drunk even by some of the friends of the victim. The Taranaki leader, Kereopa, forced out the eyes and swallowed them. Part of the flesh was taken far inland, where memories of its arrival have been found quite lately by Bishop Averill.
But what of the other prisoner? He was now strictly guarded, and could learn nothing about his friend, except what he gathered from a whisper which he overheard among the sentries: "Hung on the willow tree." Together with the sailors and other Europeans, he was now marched to the spot to which Volkner had first been led. But there was no repetition of the tragedy. There was robbing of pockets, binding of hands, and an exhibition of bullying tyranny; but the lust for blood had abated. With the cryptic utterance, "A time to bind, and a time to loose; a time to kill, and a time to make alive," the bonds were loosed from all the party, and they were bidden to stay for the night in the house of a sick settler named Hooper.
It was a night of horror. In the one small room—18ft. by 12ft.—there were crowded the sick man, four sailors, the missionary, and "six or eight natives—men, women, and children. The suffocation from so many people and from the fumes of tobacco was almost overpowering." Grace had just heard certain news of his friend's fate, and had "every reason to believe that it would be his own last night on earth." Again as he lay awake he could hear "the dancing and shouting going on in the Romish chapel, and also in the church." Again the sailors showed their humanity by sharing their coats and blankets. But there were no evening prayers now, for there was too much moving about. Even his Prayer Book had been carried off: "I could only in private commend myself and my companions to the watchful care of our Heavenly Father. Thus ended this terrible day, upon which the first blood was shed in New Zealand for the Gospel's sake."
The morrow was "a dreadful day of bitter suspense." But it brought its own consolation. The sick man had a few books, and amongst them was a Prayer Book which had been given him by Volkner. Again therefore the psalms could be read, and those for the day "appeared written for the occasion." They had taken a brighter tone:
Thou shalt show me the path of life!
Two days later the Hauhau leader, Patara, arrived and held a trial in the church. The charges were all of a political character. Volkner was denounced as a spy, because he had travelled so often between Opotiki and Auckland. Nothing could be brought against Grace, except the old charge of taking away the Maori's land. "Neither Mr. Volkner nor I have any land," said the missionary. The Maoris seemed by this time somewhat ashamed of their barbarity, and Grace was allowed his liberty to go about the pa. He was soon able to secure proper and Christian burial for the mangled remains of his friend, in a grave dug at the east end of the church; but beyond a daily visit to this spot he had no resource, and soon found the time hang heavily on his hands.
When the news of the Opotiki tragedy reached Auckland, a thrill of horror passed through the city. The sad duty of breaking the news to Mrs. Volkner was undertaken by Bishop Selwyn and Bishop Patteson, who had lately arrived from Melanesia. Her answer was worthy of a matron of the primitive Church: "Then he has won the Crown!"
On the following Sunday a memorial sermon was preached at St. Mary's Church by Patteson. Read in the light of subsequent events, its words are charged with a double significance. The tone of something like envy is indeed remarkable, and the description of the martyr of the past applies equally well to the martyr of the future:
"We know," said the bishop, "and we thank God that we do know, how good he was, how simple-minded, how guileless; a man of prayer, full of faith and good works that he did—meekly following his Saviour in pureness of heart (for to him such grace was given), walking humbly with his God. We who can ill afford to spare him from among us, who dwell with loving affection upon the intercourse we so lately were permitted to have with him, thank God from our hearts that not one cloud rests upon the brightness of his example; that he has been taken from among us, we most surely trust, to dwell with Christ in paradise, and has left behind him the fragrance of a holy life. It is not for him we sorrow now. What better thing can we desire for ourselves or our friends, than that we and they shall be taken in the midst of the discharge of our duties from the many cares and sorrows of this world, if only by the grace of God we may be prepared for the life of that world which knows no cares, which feels no sorrows? Indeed, these are no conventional words. We must not seek to anticipate the season of rest. It is a blessed thing to work in the Lord's vineyard; it is cowardly and ungenerous to wish to shorten our time of service in the army of Christ. But, oh! the thought that a time will come, if our faith fail not, when we shall feel the burden of anxieties and trials and disappointments and bereavements taken away, and the continued warfare against sin all ended and for ever: the thought of this cannot surely be given us for naught! It must not make us less diligent now; it must not draw us from our appointed tasks; but it stands written as a word of consolation and encouragement for all, 'There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.' 'Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord; they rest from their labours.'"
But there was a duty to the living as well as to the dead. What was to be done for Mr. Grace? The clergy gathered at Bishopscourt asked the question sadly and hopelessly. Even Selwyn was at a loss. At last, Wilson urged that application should be made for the help of the H.M.S. Eclipse, then in the harbour. The application was granted, and Captain Fremantle was soon taking the bishop on an errand of rescue. But where was the prisoner to be found? Report said that he had been carried off to Poverty Bay by the Hauhaus, who intended to attack Bishop Williams at Waerenga-a-hika. To Poverty Bay, accordingly, the warship was directed, and there too a critical situation was found. Patara and Kereopa, with their band of fanatics, had just arrived (though not with Mr. Grace) within a few miles of the bishop's residence. A small army of 400 Maoris was drawn up in battle array to defend the bishop, but their minds were divided, and their hearts were faint. Selwyn's exhortations had little effect, but he obtained the help of two loyal Maoris, who undertook to assist in Mr. Grace's rescue.
The Eclipse sailed back to the Bay of Plenty, and anchored outside the bar at Opotiki. It was the sixteenth day of Grace's captivity, and the Hauhaus had agreed to exchange him for a Maori prisoner who was being kept at Tauranga. His treatment lately had been not unkind, but now that the man-of-war appeared, such excitement arose in the pa that his former fears revived. However, the landing of the two messengers from Poverty Bay diverted the attention of the Maoris from their prisoner, who succeeded in getting on board the schooner's boat, and then, by lying down underneath the thwarts, passed down the river unnoticed, and gained the warship outside.
Meanwhile the position of the bishop of Waiapu and his family grew daily worse. By the beginning of April all the converts in his immediate neighbourhood had succumbed to the mesmerism of the Hauhaus, and to the effects of a great tangi which they held over the desolation of their country. Accordingly, the bishop, with his family and other members of the mission, left the station on the third of the month and took their way northwards. They soon found a temporary home in the old Paihia buildings at the Bay of Islands, and there the bishop strove to carry on his school, while helping his brother, Archdeacon Henry, in his Sunday duties. The bishop's son, Archdeacon Leonard , remained at Poverty Bay to combat the Hauhau influence, and to shepherd the remnant of faithful Maoris.
At the end of the same month, April, 1865, the time arrived for the General Synod to decide whether the Church in New Zealand should remain united, or be divided into a northern and a southern organisation. The synod was held in Christchurch, where the centre of disaffection lay. Far removed as it was from the scene of the late troubles, the synod yet met under the shadow of Volkner's death. Bishop Williams, too, with the missionaries Clarke and Maunsell, had felt the heavy hand of war. It was no time to fight over non-essentials. Canterbury was strong in its peaceful prosperity: from the loft where the council sat the members might look down on a scene of busy labour on the foundations of a great cathedral, while another solid stone church (St. John Baptist) was rising in a neighbouring square. But its lofty pretensions to local independence could not be sustained. Archdeacon Wilson could find no seconder for his secession motion. Men of wisdom, like Bishop Patteson and Sir William Martin, made their influence felt on the side of peace. The primate maintained from the outset that Christchurch was at liberty to keep its endowments in its own hands, and its right to do so was now definitely affirmed by the synod. The constitution also was improved by some small changes in the direction desired by Canterbury churchmen.
But, on the whole, there was little change. Canterbury came down from the "cloud-cuckoo-land" in which Selwyn twitted her with dwelling. Both sides gained a better understanding of one another, and agreed to stand together on the ground of the original constitution.
Amongst the Maoris also the martyrdom of Volkner had its influence. Sickened by the brutality of men whom he had hitherto unwillingly tolerated, Tamihana came to the British general and swore allegiance to the Government. "Let the law of the queen," said he, "be the law of the king, to be a protection to us all for ever and for ever." But his patriotic heart was broken, and during the next year he fell into a rapid decline. Still holding himself somewhat aloof from the white clergy, he was upheld by the loving ministrations of his own people. As they bore him by easy stages to his place of death, they offered this prayer at every fresh removal: "Almighty God, we beseech Thee give strength to Wiremu Tamihana whilst we remove him from this place. If it please Thee, restore him again to perfect strength; if that is not Thy will, take him, we beseech Thee, to heaven." He died with his deeply studied Bible in his hand, his last words being a repetition of his old watchword—RELIGION, LOVE, and LAW.
For two or three years longer the embers of war continued to blaze up here and there. In 1867 an inter-tribal quarrel arose in the hitherto peaceful north. A few lives were lost, and a day was fixed for a pitched battle near Pakaraka—the opposing forces numbering nearly 600 men. No such muster had been seen in that region since the time of Heke's war, twenty years before. But on the morning of the battle day a message went round both the camps, which stilled the passions of the combatants: "Te Wiremu" was dead (July 16, 1867). The outbreak of strife had indeed hastened the end. Instead of fighting out their quarrel, the leaders sorrowfully made their way to take part in the old peace-maker's funeral, and when they returned they made peace with one another. Thus appropriately died this greatest of New Zealand missionaries. As a chief said at the unveiling of the monument which the Maori Church erected to his memory at Paihia: "This island was a very hard stone, and it was Archdeacon Williams who broke it."
Within a few days of Henry Williams' death, Bishop Selwyn sailed for England, to attend the first meeting of bishops at Lambeth. While in England he was offered by the prime minister the bishopric of Lichfield. Without any long delay, he sent his answer declining the proposal, and the see was offered to another. This decision reveals, as no other act could do, the magnificent heroism of the man. He had come to New Zealand twenty-five years before with youthful ambitions of building a new Jerusalem at the end of the earth. He had met with much success, but now his work seemed to be destroyed. All he could hope to do was "to sit amid the ruins of the spiritual temple which he had been allowed to build, and to trace out new foundations on which to build once more." He had begun his life with visions of restoring to the faith of Christ the regions which had been desolated by Islam: he had lived to see his own once loyal and Christian diocese swept by a propaganda compared to which even Islam is a noble creed. The task which remained to him in New Zealand was far harder than that which confronted him when he began his episcopate. Yet then, he had the buoyancy of youth, and he had offers of assistance from other youthful and sanguine spirits. Now, he was nearing the age of 60, and there were no eager volunteers to help. No Pattesons nor Whyteheads nor Abrahams had come out to him during the last decade: indeed he had found it hard to secure any new clergy at all. His own stipend had been cut down to less than half its original amount, and he could with difficulty raise any funds for his diocese. To refuse an English bishopric with its honours and emoluments, its seat in the House of Lords, its great opportunities for influencing the policy of the Church, and for playing a noble part in the eyes of the nation: surely this was a sacrifice of the rarest and highest kind. Yet, to his eternal honour, George Augustus Selwyn made this "great refusal."
The matter, however, was not to end there. At least two other clergymen refused Lichfield, and then the offer came round again to Selwyn. This time it was conveyed through the Archbishop of Canterbury, and consequently it carried more weight. Still he hesitated. Friends drew attention to the miserable stipend he was now receiving. "If I have to live on pipis and potatoes," said the bishop, "I would go back." Lastly, the Queen sent for him. Taking both his hands in hers, she said, "Dr. Selwyn, I want you to go to Lichfield." This was conclusive, and the Bishop of New Zealand was soon installed in the old palace in the Lichfield Cathedral close. He came back to New Zealand in the following year to hand over the finances of his diocese, and to preside at a last general synod, but it was as one whose work on the old ground was done. He left the country finally at the close of the synod (October 20, 1868), amidst the affectionate farewells of all classes, and so passed from the possession, though not from the memory, of the New Zealand Church.
His departure marks the close of the formative period of our history. Henry Williams had just received his call; Sir George Grey, who came almost with the bishop, and with whom he co-operated in so many ways, was to leave the country a few months later. He was the last governor who governed, as Selwyn was the last (as well as the first) Bishop of New Zealand, and the only bishop who exercised personal authority before the organisation of constitution or synod.
What manner of man he was may be gathered to some extent from the foregoing pages, though many of his good deeds have necessarily been left unrecorded. "He was no common man," writes Mr. Gisborne, "and his mind was cast in no common mould. His great characteristics were force of will, zeal, eloquence, courage, and moral heroism. His main defect was an impetuous temper, which occasionally made him dictatorial and indiscreet." To the same effect wrote Mr. Carleton, after a reference to his "lust of power": "Able, unselfish, enthusiastic, and devoted, we shall not readily meet with his like again." These testimonies are quoted as being those of politicians, and, in the case of Carleton, of a keen opponent. The church historian, whilst not ignoring the faults which the bishop, like other strong natures, possessed, may well go somewhat further than the man of the world. He is fain to recognise the nobleness of the bishop's ideals, the width of his learning, the soundness of his churchmanship, the statesmanlike grasp with which he confronted the difficulties and dangers of an unfamiliar situation. The old autocratic temper still remained, as the Church of New Zealand was yet to realise; but we may mark with reverent awe the growing humility, the increasing tolerance, the chastened piety which the stern discipline of life had wrought in this strong and impetuous character.
MAORI CHRISTIANITY AFTER THE WAR.
Many false prophets shall arise, and shall lead many astray.
—S. Matt. xxiv. 11.
With the departure of Bishop Selwyn, the Church which he had governed entered upon a new phase. It was no longer one in the sense in which it had been one. It still had a general synod, and it soon elected another primate. But no primate could be what Selwyn had been to the Church. He had watched the beginnings of every diocese, and had shepherded in person every settlement before it attained to diocesan status. The general synod was no real substitute for the influence of such a personality. It meets but once in three years; its numbers are small; its powers are limited. The real life of the Church has lain in the dioceses, and it is in diocesan histories that its own subsequent history must be found.
But the change went deeper still. Hitherto the Church had tried in various ways to exhibit the Christian life in some visible polity or order. But the spirit of competition and commercialism had been too strong for her. The "smash" of the war period left the Church too weak to attempt to mould the forms of the nation's life. All that she had strength to do was to proclaim the old message to the individual soul; to gather together the faithful for worship and instruction; and to act the part of an ambulance waggon in the rear of the industrial march. Her influence may have been really stronger than before: it probably has been so; but it has been indirect, and it has been unseen. Humanitarian legislation owes more to Christian teaching than its authors generally admit, and it is by the humanitarian legislation of the last twenty years that New Zealand has chiefly influenced the world. Selwyn's successor in the primacy was Bishop Harper, of Christchurch; his successor in the episcopal see of Auckland was Dr. W. G. Cowie; his successor in the work of nation-building and social organisation was—with whatever difference and at whatever interval—Richard John Seddon.
But this lay in the future. The immediately succeeding phase of colonial life presents the same contrast with that of the Selwynian period as does the Hanoverian regime with that of the Stuarts. It was the period of immigration and of public works. New men came to the front—men who did not know the indebtedness of the colony to the missionaries. New ideas flowed in by every mail, and, spreading rapidly from mind to mind, drew away many from their earlier faith. The reign of Darwin had begun.
But, however it might be with the immigrant, the Maori remained a religious being. Strange, fanatical, repulsive, as might be the forms which his devotion took, he was still a believer in a world of spirit. Selwyn had hoped that this ingrained religiousness would have acted for good on the colonist. Of such influence there is little trace. The drawing together which might undoubtedly be seen before the war, had given place to a movement in the opposite direction. Here again Selwyn's departure was significant. There never came another who looked upon Maori and pakeha with the same equal and comprehensive love.
An incident from the days before the war may serve to show what, under happier circumstances, the Maori might have done for his European brother:
Sir George Grey, Bishop Selwyn, and an English visitor were travelling along the east coast, near Ahuriri. In the course of the day they had been talking to the natives about the duty of reserving certain of their lands as educational grants for the benefit of their children and of posterity. In the middle of the night they were woke up in their tent by a deputation of these natives calling to Sir George Grey, and asking him whether he himself acted upon the plan he recommended to them, and whether he gave tithes, or any portion of his worldly goods, to the Church of God. The governor was bound to admit that he had not done so in the past; but undertook to do better for the future. The result was that he bought and gave a piece of land in Wellington as a site for a church. Bishop Selwyn added an adjoining section, and the English visitor still another; and thus the diocese acquired what it had long sought for in vain—a central site for its cathedral church, diocesan offices, and bishop's residence.
The diocese in which the two races are brought into closest and most equal relations is, of course, that of Waiapu. The reconstruction of this shattered portion of the Church was brought about indirectly by the same zeal on the part of Governor Grey for securing educational reserves for the Maoris.
We have seen that Bishop Williams was driven from his home in 1865, and compelled to take refuge with his brother in the north. For seven years Waiapu was left without a synod, and, in one sense, it never received its bishop back at all. Some months after the bishop's departure, his house at (near Gisborne) was the scene of a fierce battle. The Hauhaus held the adjoining pa, and the bishop's house was used as the fortress of the British troops. After seven days' siege the pa was captured, but the episcopal residence and the college were in ruins. The bishop remained for two years in exile, and his restoration was at last brought about in an unexpected way.
In the same year (1853) as that in which he received the shock of the Maori's midnight question, Sir George Grey induced the Rev. Samuel Williams to leave the school which he was carrying on for Hadfield at Otaki, and to move across the island to Hawke's Bay. Here he gave him 4,000 acres at Te Aute for a Maori school, and the natives of the district gave a similar amount. The country was covered with bush and fern, the land yielded no rental, and there were no funds for the school. At last, Samuel Williams took the work into his own hands. In order to create a school he must begin by farming the land. After several years of experiment and of anxious labour, he succeeded not only in bringing the school estate to a condition of productiveness, but in giving a valuable object lesson to other settlers. Now he could begin the school; but who was to help him in the work of instruction? His thoughts turned to his uncle, the dispossessed bishop, who, on his part, was seeking some new base from which to begin his work over again. In response to his nephew, the bishop brought his family to Hawke's Bay in 1867, and was at once prevailed upon by the people of Napier to take charge of their vacant parish. Bishop Abraham, of Wellington, in whose diocese Hawke's Bay was situated, gladly availed himself of the episcopal visitor for work among the Maoris. The position was a strange one, for here was a bishop living outside his own diocese and working in an adjoining one. The general synod of 1868, however, set matters right by transferring Hawke's Bay to the diocese of Waiapu. Bishop Williams made Napier his new headquarters, and the diocese took the bilingual character which it bears to-day.
Not so soon or so happily settled was another trouble which took its rise in the same siege of Waerenga-a-hika in 1865.
The fight at this place was well-nigh the end of Hauhauism, for the British bullets laid low many a misguided enthusiast who relied on the prophet's promise of invulnerability. But amongst the Maoris who fought on the British side was one Te Kooti, who was accused—unjustly, as was afterwards proved—of traitorous communication with the enemy. For some days he was kept a prisoner in the guard-room in the bishop's house; he was then deported with the Hauhau prisoners to Chatham Island. They were promised a safe return in two years on condition of good behaviour, and, by the testimony of all witnesses, their behaviour was exemplary.
But Te Kooti had no kindly feelings towards his captors. He fell ill on the island, and imagined himself the recipient of a new revelation. In fact, his mind was constantly dwelling upon the Old Testament, especially the imprecatory psalms and the prayers of the Jews during their exile in Babylon. His book of prayers contained two collects which show the grandeur and the fierceness which he drew from these Scriptures. Here is the prayer for the deliverance of the exiles: "O GOD, if our hearts arise from the land in which we now dwell as slaves, and repent, and pray to Thee, and confess our sins in Thy presence, then, O Jehovah, do Thou blot out the sins of Thy own people, who have sinned against Thee. Do not Thou, O GOD, cause us to be wholly destroyed. Wherefore it is that we glorify Thy Holy Name. Amen."
A fiercer note is struck in the collect "For deliverance from foes":
"O Jehovah, thou art the God who deliverest the people repenting: therefore do Thou listen hither this day to the prayer of Thy servant concerning our enemies. Let them be destroyed and turned to flight by Thee. Let their counsels be utterly confounded, and their faces be covered with sadness and confusion. And when Thou sendest forth Thy Angel to trample our enemies to the earth, through Thee also shall all their bones be broken to pieces. Glory to Thy Holy Name. Amen."
Such being the intensity of Te Kooti's feelings, it is not wonderful that he quickly won over the 300 disillusioned Hauhaus who were imprisoned with him on the island; nor that, when the two years were over without any word of release, they should have become restless and discontented. The wonder is that when at last they overpowered their guards and took possession of the island, they should have acted with the moderation which they showed. They sailed back to New Zealand in a schooner which they had captured, and Te Kooti always averred that at that time he did not intend to interfere with anyone. It was during the months following, when he was pursued among the mountains, wounded and famished, that the savage reawoke in Te Kooti. In November, 1868, he and his men made a sudden onslaught upon the settlers of Poverty Bay, and massacred every man, woman, and child whom they met. Driven once more to the mountains, he was hunted from place to place by the loyal Maoris, but he was never captured; and for years his sudden murderous raids struck terror into the homes of the colonists. The "king" Tawhiao would have none of him, but at length the government of the day thought it wise to grant him a pardon, and the old outlaw ended his days in peace.
His doctrines are still held by many of the Maoris in the Bay of Plenty and elsewhere. They are called "Ringa-tu," from the practice of holding up the hand at the conclusion of their prayers. They observe the seventh day as their Sabbath. Some have introduced the name of our Saviour into their worship, but "Jesus Christ is to them a name and nothing more, and their children grow up in heathen ignorance."
The phenomena of Hauhauism and of the Ringa-tu certainly suggest the question whether it was wise to translate the whole of the Old Testament into the Maori language. It can hardly be a mere coincidence that Maunsell's translation was finished and published in 1856, shortly before the troubles began. Tamihana, it is true, is said to have read his Bible in English, but his followers must have been for the most part dependent on the Maori version. Even the Hauhaus, though professing to abjure the white man's religion altogether, were dependent on the white man's book. "From the Bible," wrote Lady Martin, "which was their only literature, they got their phraseology. The men who excited and guided them were prophets; Jehovah was to fight for them; the arm of the Lord and the sword of the Lord were on their side, to drive the English into the sea."
Through the providence of God, the people of Israel were led step by step from the rude violence of the days of Joshua and the Judges to the spiritual religion of the prophets and the revelation of love in Jesus Christ. With the Maori the process was reversed. The Old Testament was kept back to the last. Having begun in the spirit, they were sought to be made perfect in the flesh. What wonder if, when they took into account the whole course of the white man's dealings with them, they should have become convinced that the missionaries were sent before to tame their spirits so that the colonists might follow and take their land?
The condition even of the loyal Maoris after the war was an unhappy one. Bishop Selwyn always spoke with thankfulness of the fact that not one of the native priests or deacons had faltered in his attachment to the Christian faith or to the British crown. But, with the exception of Heta Terawhiti, they were unable to penetrate into the King Country, or to do much in any way to rouse their countrymen to fresh exertion. Nor were the white missionaries more successful. They were now elderly men, and they seem not to have had the heart to make fresh efforts. Morgan had died in the year 1865; Ashwell returned to his station after some years; but Dr. Maunsell remained in Auckland as incumbent of Parnell. One or two efforts were made to effect an entrance into the King Country, but before proceeding far the missionary was always turned back. Those Maoris who had fought on the British side were seldom the better for their contact with the white man. Drunkenness became prevalent among them, and altogether the after-war period presents a sad picture of apathy and decline.
Nor can it be said that up to the present time there has been any general revival. But cheering symptoms may be noted. The King Country, which long remained closed to the missionaries and to all Europeans, is now open in every part. The old "kingship" is still existent, but it is now perfectly orthodox. At the installation of the present holder of the title (in 1912), the Maori clergy were present in their surplices; hymns such as "Onward Christian Soldiers" were sung; and a descendant of Tamihana "anointed" the young chief by placing the open Bible upon his head. North of Auckland, and on the north-east coast, a steady pastoral work has been carried on continuously by native clergy and layreaders under the supervision of English archdeacons. On the Wanganui River, numbers of lapsed Maoris have returned to the Church; while in the Bay of Plenty and around Rotorua, a great improvement has been manifest during the last few years—an improvement largely due to the efforts of Goodyear, Bennett, and the native clergy.
But, on the whole, the Maori of to-day is difficult to reach. He has seen too much to be easily moved to wonder. When Marsden rode his horse along the beach at Oihi, the natives were struck with admiration at the novel spectacle. To-day the missionary, mounted perhaps on a humble bicycle, may meet his Maori parishioner driving the most expensive kind of motor car. Kendall acquired great influence over the native mind by exhibiting a barrel organ which he had brought from England: if he had arrived to-day he might have been invited to listen to a selection of modern airs from a Maori-owned gramophone.
The chief hope lies in the education of the young. The government primary schools are doing much throughout the country, many of their teachers being trained in religious high schools and colleges. Of these the Church has a fair number. St. Stephen's School at Parnell, Auckland, still carries on the work begun by Selwyn at St. John's. It is a technical school with 60 boarders. A similar institution for girls is the Queen Victoria College in the same city.
The Te Aute estate in Hawke's Bay, so successfully managed by Archdeacon Samuel Williams, supports a secondary boarding school and college, which exert a great influence among the high-born Maoris. From this institution has sprung the "Young Maori" party, which has done much to raise the standard of living in the pas. A kindred institution, supported by the same endowment, is the Hukarere School for girls at Napier. This is perhaps the most influential of all the agencies for the advancement of the Maori.
The old Waerenga-a-hika College lay desolate for many years after the war, but is now revived as an industrial and technical school. Similar institutions have been established in the diocese of Wellington, at Otaki in the west, and at Clareville in the Wairarapa. In the South Island there is a boarding school for girls at Ohoka in the diocese of Christchurch.
There is nothing in the nature of a university college for Maoris, but at Gisborne stands the theological college of Te Rau, where candidates are trained for the ministry of the Church. From its walls many promising young clergymen have come. Thirty-three are now at work—19 in the diocese of Waiapu, 10 in Auckland, and 4 in Wellington. These with 17 other Maori clergy make up a total of 50.
The religious future of this fine race is shrouded in uncertainty. Mormonism is strong in some districts, and competes with the tohunga (medicine man and priest) in drawing away many of the unstable from Christian influence. The bright hopes of Marsden and of Selwyn have not yet been realised, but many saintly souls have been gathered in, and a faithful remnant still survives to hand on the light.
AFTER THE WAR. THE COLONISTS.
If the religious condition of the Maoris was such as to cause lasting grief to their teachers, there was not much in white New Zealand to relieve the picture. For the crash of the war period had been even greater than the foregoing pages have shown. Nothing has been said about the troubles at Nelson, where the earnest and faithful Bishop Hobhouse broke down under the factious opposition of his laity; nothing of the depression which stopped the building of Christchurch Cathedral, and led to the proposal for the sale of the site for government offices; nothing of the closing of St. John's College at Auckland, as well through lack of students as through lack of funds. But something must be said about one trouble which had begun before Selwyn's departure, but reached its acutest phase during the years that followed:
The colony of Otago, though founded as a Presbyterian settlement, contained from the first a few English churchmen; and at the beginning of 1852 an Anglican clergyman, the Rev. J. Fenton, began work in Dunedin. He was greatly helped by the famous whaler "Johnny Jones," who afterwards gave 64 sections of land in his own township of Waikouaiti as an endowment for a church in that place.
When Bishop Harper was appointed to the see of Christchurch in 1856, Otago and Southland formed part of his diocese, and his long journeys on horseback through these districts were among the most arduous and adventurous labours of his episcopate. He retained them until June 4th, 1871, when, as primate, he consecrated the Rev. S. T. Neville to the bishopric of Dunedin; and on the same day, as bishop, resigned these southern portions of his original diocese.
But there was another claimant to the office—one, moreover, who was considered by the English episcopate to be its rightful occupant. How could such an extraordinary situation have arisen? The blame must lie (as Bishop W. L. Williams points out) somewhere between Bishop Selwyn and the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. Longley). Something that was written by the former in 1865 caused the latter to select, and eventually to consecrate, one of his clergy, the Rev. H. L. Jenner, for a diocese which was not yet formed, and for a people who always protested against his appointment.
A mystery still hangs over the precise motives which actuated the archbishop. But perhaps they can be conjectured with a fair degree of probability. The letter upon which he acted arrived in England not long after the news of Volkner's murder. It was hard for those who had never left England to realise the difference between the Hauhau-ridden north and the law-abiding south of such a distant country as New Zealand. The archbishop might well think that his best course was to send out another bishop as soon as possible, without waiting for compliance with constitutional formalities. Accordingly he consecrated the Rev. H. L. Jenner "to be a bishop in New Zealand"—leaving the local authorities to determine the exact locality of his labours.
But no such ignorance can be pleaded for Bishop Selwyn. When he wrote the letter to the Primate of All England he was fresh from the great synod of 1865, where the whole constitution had been revised, and the procedure in the election of a bishop made more clear and precise. How could he violate a law which he himself had just subscribed? The only answer is that he did not violate it. His letter can have contained no such request as the archbishop imagined. Selwyn himself was as much startled as anyone, when he found what his letter had led to. But obedience to authority was the ruling principle of his life, and, like another Strafford, he determined to take upon himself the whole responsibility for what was done. It was doubtless an act of heroism, but a simple insistence upon the plain truth would have prevented much misunderstanding, and saved the New Zealand Church some years of trouble.
For the appointment of a bishop there must be the consent of the local synod, and also that of the General Synod of New Zealand. Dunedin had no synod, but its church people were represented by a small assembly called a Rural Deanery Board. Bishop Selwyn brought all his influence to bear upon this body, and in 1867 secured a small majority on a motion of acquiescence in the appointment of Mr. Jenner. But the tide soon turned again. Mr. Peter Carr Young, who had moved the resolution of acquiescence, was called to England, and found Bishop Jenner taking part in a service (at St. Matthias', Stoke Newington) whose extreme ritual was quite sufficient to bewilder an old-fashioned churchman. In his alarm he sent protests both to the Archbishop of Canterbury and to New Zealand. The archbishop expressed his deep regret, and soon afterwards died. The people of Otago were excited and indignant. The case was remitted to the General Synod (1868). In spite of Selwyn's vehement and farewell advocacy, that body refused to confirm Bishop Jenner's claim to the see of Dunedin, though recognising him of course as a bishop in the Christian Church.
Dr. Jenner was still unsatisfied. In the following year he came in person to Dunedin, and won over several church people to his side. A regular synod had now been formed, and everything depended upon its action. The meeting was held in April. It was the most stormy synod of our history. From 4 p.m. on April 8 to 6 a.m. on April 9 it debated Dr. Jenner's claim. Of the seven clergy, four finally voted in his favour, but the laity, by 15 to 10, negatived the motion of acceptance. Bishop Harper occupied the chair all through the night, and was subjected to vehement attacks from the Jenner side. But he showed such admirable temper and Christian forbearance that the leading opponent, who, on the first day, refused to join in a simple motion of congratulation to the new primate, was conspicuous at the end of the session in supporting the vote of thanks to the president.
Bishop Jenner left the country soon afterwards, but he never withdrew his claims. In this attitude he was supported by the Bishop of Lichfield and by the rest of the English episcopate. The synodical system of the New Zealand Church is justly looked upon as one of the greatest achievements of Selwyn's life. There is something tragic in the reflection that he ended by flouting its authority.
The consecration of Bishop Neville on June 4, 1871, raised the episcopal bench to seven—its present number. But a sore trouble was impending. The New Zealand bishops were full of anxiety for the health of their young colleague in Melanesia, and before leaving Dunedin they wrote to him an affectionate letter, in which they urged him to leave his work for a time and to seek rest in England. They little thought how soon he was to find his rest, not in his earthly home, but in the heavenly Fatherland itself.
Their anxiety for Bishop Patteson's health was amply justified. During the previous year he had come to Auckland to be treated for some internal inflammation. Here his patience and sweetness had won all hearts, and his friends saw him off to his distant diocese with sad misgivings. He accomplished a lengthy voyage amongst the islands, amidst most favourable conditions, but he did not feel well enough to attend the General Synod which met in Dunedin in Feb. 1871. "I regret very much," he wrote, "that I am unable to attend the meeting of the General Synod. I know full well how the very life of the mission is involved in its connection with the Province of New Zealand, and I earnestly wish to express in every way that I can my sense of the value of this connection, and my respect to the General Synod." The mission, he said, was flourishing, and was able to pay its way. But his heart was sore at the labour-traffic which was carrying off his islanders to the plantations of Queensland and Fiji. On this subject he sent to the synod a powerfully-worded memorandum, which, as we read it now amongst the synodical documents, seems to be written with his heart's blood. The synod passed a warm motion of sympathy with himself and his labours. The motion was forwarded to Norfolk Island by the primate, and reached the bishop on the day before that on which he began his last voyage. His reply deals with so many points of importance that it must be given at length:
"My dear Primate,—Your kind letter of March 7th has just reached me. The Southern Cross arrived to-day; and we sail (D.V.) to-morrow for a four or five months' voyage, as I hope. I am pretty well, always with 'sensations,' but not in pain; and I think that I shall be better in the warm climate of the Islands during the winter.
"I did not at all suppose that the Synod would have taken any notice, and much less such very kind notice, of my absence. Many dear friends, I know full well, think of and pray for me and for us all.
"The point in my memorandum that I ought to have pressed more clearly, perhaps, is this, viz., the mode adopted in many cases for procuring islanders for the plantations. I am concerned to show that in not a few cases deceit and violence are used in enticing men and lads on board, and in keeping them confined when on board. I don't profess to know much of the treatment of the Islanders on the plantations.
"I am very thankful to hear that the Dunedin question is settled at length, and so satisfactorily.
"The synod papers are not yet brought up in our things from the Southern Cross. And as I am off (D.V.) to-morrow, and am very busy now, I shall hope to read them quietly on board.
"I must end. Melanesians and English folk are streaming in and out of my room....
"Yours very truly,
"J. C. Patteson."
How the voyage ended is well known. The heavy mallet of one islander at Nukapu gave the brave and saintly bishop instantaneous release from his sufferings; the poisoned arrows of others caused the death, after lingering agony, of two of his companions, the missionary Joseph Atkin and a Melanesian teacher. The bishop's body, as it was found floating down the lagoon, bore five wounds, inflicted doubtless in vengeance for the violent capture of five islanders by the very traffic against which the bishop had sent his protest to the synod.
For nearly six years the Melanesian Mission remained without a bishop, under the faithful leadership of Dr. Codrington. But Patteson's loss could not be replaced, nor could that of Atkin, who had managed the navigation department. Many years elapsed before the lost ground—especially in the Solomons—could be recovered.
Much good work was done in many of the parishes of New Zealand during the decade of the 'seventies, and Patteson's martyrdom was not fruitless. But, outwardly, the Church continued weak. Wellington had lost Bishop Abraham in 1870, and, in his place, elected Archdeacon Hadfield in recognition of his magnificent services. But the new bishop's health was still precarious, and he failed to acquire amongst the settlers the influence which he had formerly wielded amongst the Maoris. Dunedin was still torn by the party spirit of the Jenner controversy; in Waiapu, Bishop Williams was drawing toward the end of his long and arduous life.
The weakness of the Church was revealed in a sad and startling manner when the Provinces were abolished in 1876. The civil government became centralised, at a time when the ecclesiastical organisation had lost its central unity, and its power of bringing pressure to bear on national legislation. When, in 1877, an Education bill was introduced into parliament, the Church not only found herself outvoted, but was not even represented in any effective way. The only parts of the colony which could take up a strong and consistent position were Nelson and Westland. In these districts the English Church, under Bishop Suter and Archdeacon Harper, had co-operated with the Roman Catholics and other bodies under their respective leaders, and had carried on an effective and successful system of denominational schools. But nothing like this could be shown elsewhere. Canterbury had renounced church schools in 1873, and had reduced the religious instruction in its provincial schools to a minimum of "history sacred and profane"; Otago and Wellington had retained Bible-reading, but were greatly divided as to the necessity of its continuance; Auckland had compromised with the Roman difficulty by adopting secularism pure and simple.
Three solutions of the "religious difficulty" were thus before the House of Representatives. No reference was made by any of the speakers to the blessings which the Christian religion had conferred upon the country. The torn and bleeding state of Maori Christianity prevented one side from pointing to it as an example; the other side—if mindful at all of its existence—was too generous to point at it as a warning. Fear of Rome seemed to be the dominating motive with most of the members, but a small secularist minority made itself conspicuous. The Nelson, or denominationalist, system had broken down in the larger settlements through want of good leadership and generous co-operation; the government scheme of elementary Bible-reading, though more widely favoured, was so feebly advocated that its opponents could with some justice pronounce it a "farce"; and finally the secular party won the day by a considerable majority. Nothing was left to the Churches of the land but the opportunity for their ministers to enter the schools, before or after school hours, and to give instruction to such children as might choose to attend.
But the period through which we have been passing was not all gloom. In the diocese of Auckland, Bishop Cowie was able to re-open St. John's College, and to place it under the charge of Dr. Kinder. Immigrants were pouring into his diocese to settle upon the confiscated lands, and the bishop set himself to follow them up into the remotest settlements. In small schooners and rough cattle-boats he journeyed round the coast; on bullock-waggons and on horseback he traversed the almost impassable roads. Thus he made himself the friend of the settlers, and gradually provided them with the ministrations of religion.
In the South Island, Bishop Suter, who was appointed to succeed Bishop Hobhouse in 1866, worked vigorously and successfully in the rough mining settlements of the west coast, as well as among the sheltered valleys around Nelson, and the sheep stations on the eastern coast. In Canterbury, Bishop Harper laboured on with much success, and saw a number of churches built during this decade.
Early in the year 1877 the long interregnum in Melanesia came to its close. Bishop Patteson's death had stirred (among others) John Richardson Selwyn, the great bishop's New Zealand-born son, to offer himself for missionary work. He was too young at the time for the episcopal office, and even when he reached the canonical age his friends were doubtful if his health would bear the strain; but he threw himself with ardour into the work of the mission, and soon came to be regarded as its future head. He was consecrated at Nelson on Feb. 18th, 1877, and soon proved his fitness for the difficult work he had undertaken.
In the previous year, Bishop Williams had just concluded a half-century of devoted and apostolic labour in New Zealand, when he was stricken with paralysis, and shortly afterwards (May 31, 1876) resigned his see. After a considerable interval, an Indian missionary, Edward Craig Stuart, was elected to succeed him, and was consecrated at Napier in December, 1877. The retiring bishop lived long enough to welcome his successor, but was not able to join in his consecration.
In the following year, George Augustus Selwyn died at Lichfield. He had never ceased to take an interest in New Zealand: in his palace chapel he had put up a memorial window to the heroic Henare Taratoa; he had taken the retired bishops Hobhouse and Abraham as his coadjutors; and, in the hours of unconsciousness which preceded the last breath, he murmured two sayings which seemed to go back to the old days of toil among the Maoris and at St. John's College. One was, "They will come back." The other, "Who's seeing to that work?"
THE CHURCH OF TO-DAY.
The earliest stage of church-life in colonial New Zealand may be called the Eucalyptus or Blue Gum period. These dark-foliaged trees mark from afar the lonely sheep-station, and are often the only guide thereto. It is in the station-house or in the adjoining woolshed that the service is held. Seldom is it conducted by an ordained minister, for the number of such is small, and each priest has a large territory to visit. His arrival on horseback is not always known beforehand, but in the evening the "squatter" assembles his family and dependants, the men of the station, and perhaps a few neighbours. Everyone is glad of the opportunity. The dining-room or woolshed is made to look as devotional as possible. The old prayer books brought out from England are produced. There may be no musical instrument available, but some well-known hymn is raised by the lady of the house. The priest, in his long surplice, preaches a practical sermon, for he understands his people and knows their lives. The service revives old memories in the worshippers, and carries them back in thought to ancient churches and devout congregations in the land from which they come.
This early stage merges gradually into what may be called the Pine period. The large sheep run is broken up into farms, each marked by its sheltering plantations of pinus insignis. The typical place of worship is now the school. To it the worshippers drive on Sunday, in buggies or gigs. The services are carried on with some regularity: different Christian denominations generally use the building on successive Sundays of the month, and the same congregation gathers on each occasion. The arrangements are awkward, the seats are comfortless, but the singing is hearty and the feeling good. Memories of the old land are less vivid: the young men and maidens are mostly native-born. There is not the deep feeling of devotion, nor is there the old sense of the overwhelming importance of divine things. Fewer of the labouring men are present than were seen in the old woolshed services.
Years pass by, and a village springs up amidst the farms. Small church-buildings rise almost side by side. The attendants of the schoolroom no longer worship together. It is the Cypress or Macrocarpa period, when trim hedges divide the gardens—and often the people—from one another. But the little church, with its cross and other sacred emblems, grows dear to some. The choir learns to chant and to sing an anthem on a high festival. Perhaps now there is a vicarage beside the church. Classes and guilds are carried on. "Church work" begins.
Such is the history of the Church in New Zealand during the latter period of our hundred years. The frame of the picture is that supplied by the originally treeless plains and valleys of the South Island. But the picture itself, in its essential points, would represent other regions as well—whether mining, maritime, or forest. As a picture, it is not as bright as we should like it to be; but its shadows as well as its brightness are but extensions of the phenomena of the religious world outside. The divisions of Christendom did not originate in New Zealand.
With a background furnished by the process just described—a process constant in character, though moving faster or slower according to the variety of local conditions—we may now fill in the foreground of the scene with the few events of the last 34 years, which stand out above the general level of parochial or diocesan life.
The decade of the 'eighties saw no change in the constitution of the episcopal bench. From 1877 to 1890 the bishops remained the same. Bishop Harper passed his 80th year, but continued actively at work; after him in order of seniority came Bishops Suter of Nelson, Hadfield of Wellington, Cowie of Auckland, Neville of Dunedin, Selwyn of Melanesia, and Stuart of Waiapu. All worked harmoniously together, the leading personality being perhaps the Bishop of Nelson.
A sign of recovery from the exhaustion of the war-period may be found in the stately churches which now began to rise here and there. Christchurch Cathedral, after its years of forlorn desolation, rose slowly from its foundations during the later 'seventies, until in 1881 the nave and tower were completed and consecrated. St. Mary's, Timaru, was begun in 1880, and its nave completed six years later. St. John's Cathedral, Napier, was rapidly built and consecrated as a finished building in 1888. Nothing so artistic or so solid as these edifices had yet been seen in the country, and nothing equal to them was produced for many years.
Not only were new churches built: they were filled. A great impetus to devotion was received in 1885 and 1886 from Canons Bodington and G. E. Mason, who were sent out from Selwyn's old diocese of Lichfield to hold missions in Auckland and Christchurch. These able men spent 10 months in the country, and gave of their best to every place they visited.
In 1889, Bishop Harper gave notice of his intention to resign his primacy, and, in the following year, laid down his pastoral staff. He had reached the age of 86 before his resignation took effect, but his mind was still vigorous, and when relieved of the cares of office he took up the humbler work of giving divinity lessons in a girls' school. He was pre-eminently a man of peace, but beneath the placid exterior there lay an indomitable will. One who knew him well wrote of him thus: "He left upon me the deep impression that he never had an ideal of power or wealth or fame, but that to go about doing good, and to promote the welfare of his fellow-men with all his strength, were the objects he had in view in his whole life."
This resignation was destined to bring about a constitutional difficulty which recalled the trying days of the Jenner incident. The question which divided the Church was nothing less than this, Who is the legitimate primate or chief pastor of New Zealand?
Dunedin, curiously enough, was again the point from which the trouble emanated, and a Selwyn was again the person who unintentionally brought it about. Bishop Harper announced his intention to resign the primacy to a general synod at Dunedin in February, 1889. At the close of the session he called for an election of a bishop to take his place as primate in six months' time. The first and the second ballots were inconclusive. Had the third ballot yielded a similar result, the primacy would have gone, according to the canons, to the senior bishop.
The Bishop of Nelson was the senior by consecration, though not by age, and he received a large majority of lay votes. But the clergy did not think him "safe," and gave their votes preponderantly to the veteran Hadfield. Before the final ballot, the Bishop of Melanesia broke the silence enjoined on such occasions, and urged the laity "not to let the election go by default." His advocacy was successful, and at the third ballot the Bishop of Wellington, having received a majority of all orders, was declared by the old primate to be duly elected to fill his place.
But this decision did not remain long uncontested. From a strictly legal point of view, the proceedings were invalidated by the fact that the canons gave no authority for an election until the primatial seat was actually vacant. This technical objection was rendered more cogent by Bishop John Selwyn's impulsive act. His speech was undoubtedly a breach of the law, and undoubtedly also it turned the election.
The situation was a difficult one, and it affected more especially the diocese of Christchurch. For Bishop Harper's retirement was leaving that diocese vacant, and its synod had elected Archdeacon Julius of Ballarat to fill Dr. Harper's place. But the election could not be completed without the sanction of the General Synod or of the Standing Committees of the various dioceses, and until the primacy question should be settled it was impossible to obtain such confirmation. Bishop Suter, acting on the verdict of the Standing Commission—which was to the effect that the election of Bishop Hadfield was null and void—proceeded to act as primate, and to invite the Standing Committees to confirm the action of the Christchurch Synod. Those of Nelson, Auckland, and Waiapu at once did so; but those of Wellington and Dunedin, holding that Bishop Hadfield was legally elected, took no notice of the communications of the senior bishop.
The position was undoubtedly full of interest to lawyers, but it was painful and humiliating to devout members of the Church. Some weeks were occupied in fruitless negotiations, but at length, through the influence of the aged Bishop Harper, a way was discovered out of the thicket. Bishop Hadfield resigned his claims to the primacy, and Bishop Suter, whose position was now uncontested, summoned a special meeting of the General Synod. It met in Wellington on April 23rd, 1890. The Bishop of Wellington was elected primate, and the election of Archdeacon Julius to the see of Christchurch was validated, sanctioned, and confirmed.
But larger issues soon occupied the public mind. A waterside strike paralysed for a time the commerce of the country, and introduced the era of "Labour." The predominance of Darwin, with his "struggle to live," gave way to the humanitarian conception of a struggle to let others live. In some respects the new movement was a return towards the principles of Christianity, which had seemed to be surrendered in the war period. As such it was hailed by many minds. The new bishop of Christchurch was welcomed with a general enthusiasm because he came as an avowed sympathiser with the aspirations of labour. But the events did not justify either the hopes of the one side or the fears of the other. Labour gained a large measure of political power under Mr. Ballance and Mr. Seddon. Many measures were passed to secure higher wages, shorter hours of work, more careful sanitation, and better technical training. Yet, as years passed by, the fundamental conditions did not seem to be greatly altered. Legislation could not go deep enough. It could not change human nature. That could only be effected by the diffusion of a spirit of justice and consideration throughout the community. The effort to diffuse such a spirit is the proper work of the Church; and as this truth became clearly seen, the Church felt less and less inclined to throw herself on the side of any political party.
Her own efforts to alter economic laws had not been successful; Marsden, Selwyn, and Godley had found the spirit of individualism too strong for them: was it not clear that the Christian's duty was to concentrate his efforts upon the development of unselfish character in both capitalist and worker; to try to hold the classes together by upholding the sacred character of the State, and the solemn responsibility of each individual for the right use of whatever property or cleverness he might possess; to warn against the dangers of wealth and also against the greed for its possession; to point to Christ and His world-renouncing example?
The Church, as a whole, therefore, went on in the old way, just teaching the "Duty to God" and the "Duty to one's Neighbour," and leaving the State to try to order the social life of the community so as to make those duties more possible of fulfilment.
But if the policy continued the same, the leaders were gradually changed. Bishop Harper was soon followed into retirement by others of his old colleagues. Suter's health broke down in 1891, and on his resignation the diocese set its seal upon his episcopate by electing his old friend and archdeacon, the Ven. C. O. Mules, to fill his place. Before the end of the same year, Bishop John Selwyn was likewise compelled to lay down his office owing to severe illness.
And men said, "Bene meruit"—or, rather,
"He followed in the footsteps of his father."
Not until St. Barnabas' Day in 1894 was his place filled by the consecration of the Rev. Cecil Wilson, who took up the work of the Melanesian Mission with great earnestness.
Meanwhile, the veteran Bishop Hadfield had laid down both the bishopric of Wellington and the primacy in 1893. The delicate youth who had left Oxford in 1837, who had been the first in Australia to be ordained to the diaconate, and the first in New Zealand to receive the office of the priesthood, had rallied again and again from what had seemed the bed of death, and had outlived most of those with whom he began his work. His frequent periods of illness had been relieved by the reading of somewhat severe and philosophical books, and he was able to make good use of his learning in the address which he delivered to the one general synod over which he presided. On his retirement, he lived quietly for some years longer at Marton, and passed away in 1904.
The primacy was now conferred, with general unanimity, on Bishop Cowie of Auckland. For the see of Wellington an English clergyman was selected at the request of the diocesan synod. This was the Rev. Frederic Wallis, who brought to New Zealand the learning of Cambridge and a most genial personality. His episcopate coincided with a rapid expansion of settlement in the more distant portions of the diocese, and he was able to man his parochial charges and missionary districts with able clergy from Cambridge. Under his administration the diocese made solid progress, and became, instead of the weakest, one of the strongest members of the New Zealand Church.
Five days before the consecration of Bishop Wallis at Wellington (Jan. 1895), a like solemn service had been held in the Cathedral at Napier. Bishop Stuart had resigned the bishopric of Waiapu in the previous year in order to go to Persia as a simple missionary. Into the vacant place there was now installed one who had declined it at the previous vacancy, but who was still not too old to take up the burden. This was Archdeacon Leonard Williams, that son of the first bishop, who had in infancy been baptised with the children of David Taiwhanga on the first occasion when any of the Maori race were publicly admitted to the Church of Christ. His life had been spent in the service of the people among whom he had thus been dedicated to God's service, and, though older than any of the bishops who laid upon him their hands, he was able to administer the diocese for fourteen years before laying down the staff in 1909.
No further changes are to be noted before the year 1900. But the twentieth century was not long on its way before the primate, Dr. Cowie, died at his post, after a short illness. The primacy passed to Bishop Neville of Dunedin, the only remaining survivor of the post-Selwynian group. The work of the diocese of Auckland proved too arduous for Bishops Neligan and Crossley, who each resigned the see after a short tenure of office. The last vacancy has been filled by the translation of Dr. Averill, who, coming from the diocese of Christchurch in 1909, took up the bishopric of Waiapu after Bishop Williams' resignation, and has done much to bring the lapsed Maoris back to the fold. His place at Napier was filled by another parish-priest from Christchurch, Canon Sedgwick, whose faith and zeal had been abundantly displayed in the building of the splendid church of St. Luke the Evangelist in that city.
Wellington and Nelson also have had their changes. The health of Dr. Wallis gave way in 1911, and he retired to England. The synod elected one of its own members, the Rev. T. H. Sprott, to take his place; while in Nelson, Bishop Mules was succeeded by an Australian clergyman, Canon Sadlier of Melbourne.
Dunedin still keeps its first bishop, who, after an episcopate of 43 years, ranks as the senior prelate of the British Empire. Christchurch has had but one change. All the other dioceses can reckon three or four. Of the prelates who have at one time occupied places on the New Zealand bench, some have retired to England, while others remain among us and are entitled to a seat, though not to a vote, in the General Synod. Each diocese (except Dunedin) can point to one bishop's grave in some local cemetery; while Melanesia treasures the memory of the martyred Patteson, whose body was committed to the deep within its waters.
The mention of so many bishops calls up pictures of many and various diocesan activities. These should be recorded in separate histories, but can hardly find a place within the limits of this book. One notable effort in which all combined was the General Mission of Help in the year 1910. Fifteen missioners were sent out from England under commission from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. They represented different schools of thought in the Church, and were headed by Canon Stuart of Canterbury, Canon Tupper-Carey of York, and "Father Fitzgerald," of Mirfield. Beginning in Auckland, where they were assisted by some specially selected clergy from the south, they held missions in all the larger parishes of the city and of the country towns. Waiapu and Wellington were next visited. After a pause, the original band, augmented by several North Island clergy, crossed to the South Island and went through Canterbury and Otago. Nelson was the last diocese to be worked, but special farewell visits were made by individual missioners to parishes in which they had laboured in the earlier part of the course. One missioner, at least, gave himself permanently to the New Zealand Church.
It is not possible here to give a full account of the mission, but (to use the words of the official report), "it is safe to say it exceeded all anticipations in the fervour and earnestness shown, and the manifest proofs of the Holy Spirit's presence. Most of the missioners themselves stated that it was a unique experience in their life and work."
Of its after-effects it is not so easy to speak. It did not lead to any departure from the existing methods of work, nor did it initiate much in the way of fresh effort. Its results are rather to be seen in a general quickening of activity in the different departments of the Church's life. A sketch of these various departments must form the conclusion of this book.
THE CHURCH AT WORK.
Spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.
—Is. liv. 2.
The chief part of the Church's work is to keep open the way to heaven. The English Church understands this duty in New Zealand no otherwise than it does elsewhere. That the Lord Jesus Christ, when He had overcome the sharpness of death, did open the kingdom of heaven to all believers—this its people sing and believe. There has been no heresy among the colonists, if by heresy be understood anything more than individual dissent from the common creed of Christendom.
How the way thus opened is to be kept unclosed and clear, is doubtless a question upon which some difference exists. But even here our island Church has been less vexed by controversy than have most other portions of the Christian realm. No Cummins or Colenso has arisen among its bishops. Only once has the ponderous machinery of its canon on "discipline" been put in motion against a presbyter. That instance occurred in 1877, when the Rev. H. E. Carlyon of Kaiapoi, a very earnest and devoted man, was found guilty by the Bench of Bishops of erroneous teaching and unlawful practice in regard to auricular confession and the administration of the Holy Eucharist. The cases of Mr. Kirkham of Roslyn, and some others, though productive of angry controversy, never came within the purview of the courts. The opposition to Bishop Jenner, though really based on the fear of Romanising ritual, took the safer course of challenging the validity of his appointment.
The conduct of public worship in New Zealand presents no special features in contrast with that of the mother Church. At one time it seemed as though the hymns at least might have borne a distinctive character. The second general synod decided to compile a special hymnal, and under its authority such a book was issued in 1864. It contained 222 hymns, many of which were beautiful. But neither in this collection nor in the enlarged edition put forth in 1870 were there any original compositions, nor anything (except perhaps the hymns for "time of war") to make it specially suitable to the needs of this country. The second edition, set to music by Dr. Purchas of Auckland, never attained to such widespread use as the first had enjoyed, and was soon driven from the field by Hymns Ancient and Modern.
The changed seasons of the Southern Hemisphere still wait for an inspired poet. The summer Christmas and the autumn Easter have yet to be naturalised among us. Some attempts have been made, not altogether without success. The birth of the Heavenly Babe "in the fulness of time" is felt to be in keeping with the season when
while at Easter time, instead of the old association of the Resurrection with the renewed vitality of Spring, we have a fitness drawn from the very contrast:
These verses are surely on the way to some poetic interpretation of the changed seasons which shall fix the devotions of the future in classic form.
Turning from the liturgical to the personal element in our services, we find that the solitary Marsden of 1814 is now represented by 414 clergy, of whom 50 belong to the Maori race. The numbers vary greatly in the different dioceses. Auckland heads the list with 110 clergy (19 being Maoris), Wellington follows with 77, and Christchurch with 76; Waiapu has 68 (24 being Maoris); Dunedin 46, and Nelson 29. About ninety of these white clergy were born in the land, and many others, having arrived in childhood, have received their training at one or other of the colleges which have been established for the purpose.
Chief among these theological colleges stands, of course, Selwyn's old foundation of St. John's. Its career has been a chequered one, but it was considerably enlarged during the episcopate of Bishop Neligan, and is now in a flourishing condition. Christchurch, in the Upper Department of Christ's College; Dunedin, in Selwyn College; and Wellington, in the Hadfield Hostel, possess institutions which supply to candidates for the ministry a home and a theological training while they attend the lectures at the University colleges. Bishopdale College, which was an institution of great importance under Dr. Suter, has now been revived by the present Bishop of Nelson. The studies in all these local centres are systematised and tested by a Board of Theological Studies, whose operations cover the whole province, and whose standard is equal to that of the mother Church.
As to the work done by the clergy of New Zealand, it would be unbecoming of the author to say much. Each diocese is happy in the possession of some parish priests whose faithful service is beyond price and beyond praise. Many, too, of those whose working day is past, are recalled with grateful affection in the scenes of their former activity. Some have left their mark in our large cities through their long and faithful pastorates: Archdeacon Benjamin Dudley in Auckland, Archdeacon Stock and Richard Coffey in Wellington, Archdeacons Lingard and Cholmondeley in Christchurch, Henry Bromley Cocks in Sydenham. For length of service as well as for culture and ability stand out conspicuous the names of Archdeacon Govett of New Plymouth, and of Archdeacon Henry Harper of Westland and Timaru. In the gift of popular preaching and of winning business men, Dean Hovell of Napier and Archdeacon Maclean of Greymouth and Wanganui have had few rivals. Of a more scholarly type were H. B. Harvey of Wellington, C. S. Bowden of Mornington, Canon Joseph Bates of Davenport, and W. Marsden Du Rieu of Auckland—the last also being distinguished for his extraordinary charity and generosity. Ability and spirituality were likewise conspicuous in the short career of Charles Alabaster of Christchurch; self-sacrificing vigour in that of Archdeacon E. A. Scott.
Provincial towns have often kept the same pastor for a long term of years, the man and the place seeming to become identified in the eyes of the world. Such cases are those of Archdeacon Butt at Blenheim, James Leighton at Nelson, Archdeacon Stocker at Invercargill, Algernon Gifford at Oamaru, Archdeacon Dudley at Rangiora. The large and difficult country districts also have often had earnest and devoted priests, among whom may be mentioned Canon Frank Gould of Auckland, Amos Knell in the Wairarapa, James Preston at Geraldine, Samuel Poole at Motueka. Other holy and humble men of heart there have been whose names never came conspicuously before the world or even before the Church.
Greatly as the number of the clergy has grown within recent years, the services of the Church could not be carried on without the help of a large body of layreaders. Some of these are licensed to preach and interpret, others read sermons by approved divines, but both classes render invaluable help. The number of these readers in the diocese of Auckland alone is almost equal to the number of clergy in the whole of New Zealand. Nor are the services of women altogether wanting. In Christchurch there exists a community of deaconesses, who, besides educational and charitable work, carry on a constant ministry of intercession and prayer.
How much the devotional side of the religious life is assisted by music can hardly be over-emphasised. There is one paid choir in the country—that of Christchurch Cathedral—and there are many salaried organists of high culture; but throughout the length and breadth of the land there are voluntary musicians and singers whose devoted efforts do much to keep alive the inspiring practice of sacred song.
The buildings in which worship is offered are gradually becoming more worthy of their high purpose. The last decade has seen many fine churches begun or finished. Christchurch Cathedral; St. Mary's, Timaru; St. Luke's, Oamaru; St. John's, Invercargill, have been brought to completion; the fine churches of St. Matthew, Auckland; St. Luke, Christchurch; All Saints', Palmerston North; St. Matthew's, Masterton; Holy Trinity, Gisborne, have been built. Smaller churches of great beauty mark the country side at Hororata, Glenmark, Little Akaloa, and elsewhere. Some of these buildings are due to the generosity of individual donors; others represent combined parochial effort.
For administrative purposes the Church in New Zealand is divided into six dioceses—three in each island. Since the days of Bishop Selwyn, no addition has been made to the number. The diocese of Auckland is now large and populous enough for subdivision, but the project for a Taranaki bishopric has not hitherto elicited much enthusiasm.
The authority in each diocese is shared by the bishop with his synod. This body contains all the licensed clergy and an approximately equal number of lay representatives. Its powers are considerable, but the days when the synod was the arena of violent strife seem to be over. Good feeling and harmonious co-operation between bishop, clergy, and laity are now everywhere the rule.
The relations between bishop and clergy were rendered clearer by the case of Dodwell v. the Bishop of Wellington in 1887. The old legal status of an English "parson" was shown not to exist in New Zealand: no clergyman has any position save such as is given him by the constitution of the Church. In the same way, no parishioner has any claim at law against his parish priest. This point was decided by the Avonside case in 1889, where the action of a parishioner against the Rev. Canon Pascoe, on the ground of a refusal of the Holy Communion, was disallowed by the judge. The Church is free to do its own work in its own way, and is bound only by such laws as it may think good to make for itself.
The supreme authority for the making of such laws is the General Synod, of which the primate is president. This dignified body has hardly yet developed that power and continuity of action which are required for effective leadership. It suffers from smallness of numbers, from infrequency of meetings, and from changes of locality. Attempts have been made (notably in 1910) to strengthen the central authority by conferring upon the primate the title of archbishop, in the hope that the office might eventually be attached to one particular see, which would thus become the ecclesiastical centre of the Province. Such attempts have hitherto met with slight success. The country itself seems to render centralisation difficult. If called upon to choose one of the existing sees as the seat of the archbishopric, how would the synod decide between Auckland with its traditions, Wellington with its central position, and Christchurch with its cathedral and its endowments? To ask the question is to show the difficulty of its answer.
By the fundamental provisions of its constitution the synod has no power to alter the Prayer-Book. At every session this point is debated afresh, with the only result of throwing up into clearer relief the powerlessness of the synod with regard to it. Another matter which comes up for regular treatment is the admission of women to a vote at parish meetings. The measure has hitherto always been defeated by the vote of the clerical order, but the tide seems now to have turned, as at least two diocesan synods (those of Christchurch and Nelson) have passed favouring resolutions by considerable majorities.
Of all the problems which come before the ecclesiastical statesman, perhaps the most difficult of solution is that of "the appointment of pastors to parishes." The history of its treatment in New Zealand is somewhat singular. At their inception the synods showed extreme jealousy of episcopal control. A parochial system was devised which should give to the parishioners as large a voice as possible in the selection of their pastor, and to the priest so chosen as large a measure as possible of independence of his bishop. The only check upon the parochial nominators (who were elected by the vestry) was the presence upon the Board of an equal number of diocesan nominators elected by the synod. The one person who had no voice in the matter was the bishop. Proposals were occasionally made to give him a seat upon the Board of Nominators, but it was sufficient for a northern archdeacon (in 1880) to declaim against the "cauld blanket" which the bishop's presence would cast upon the erstwhile happy gathering of laymen, to secure the abandonment of the proposal for a whole generation. But the arrangement was unnatural; and, as the feelings of distrust abated, it was found that important churches would not infrequently refrain from claiming independent status in order that they might remain as mere "parochial districts" in the bishop's hands. At length, in 1913, the Bishop of Christchurch carried through the General Synod a bill which revolutionised the whole procedure. The appointment to parishes and parochial districts alike was placed in the hands of a small diocesan Board of Nomination. This consists of the bishop himself, with one priest elected by the clergy and one layman elected by the laity. The only advantage enjoyed by a fully-formed parish is that its vestry has the privilege of selecting between three names submitted to it by the Board of Nomination, after a consultation between this board and the parish vestry.
Administration is intimately connected with finance, and on this head, too, something must be said. The Dominion of New Zealand contains slightly over 1,000,000 people, of whom 411,671 declared themselves in 1911 to be members of the Church of England. When it is noted that the membership of many of these is more nominal than real, and that many are not of age to possess any money of their own, it must surely be taken as a sign of vitality that in the year 1912 no less a sum than £72,590 was contributed through offertories and subscriptions alone for the stipends of the clergy and for other parochial needs. Doubtless the sum would be considerably higher if the rich gave always in proportion to their means, but even so the result is cheering.
Noble gifts have indeed been sometimes made by those who have been entrusted with worldly wealth. These gifts have taken various forms. Sometimes the object has been the building of a church, as in the case of the Harrop bequest of £30,000 for the erection of a cathedral at Dunedin, or the gift by the Rhodes family of a tower and spire for the cathedral of Christchurch. Sometimes it has been the endowment of a parish. In this respect the diocese of Christchurch stands out conspicuous. Glenmark, endowed by Mrs. Townend; West Lyttelton by Archdeacon Dudley; Otaio and Waimate by Mr. Myers; Hororata (partially) by Sir John Hall: these can hardly be paralleled elsewhere, except perhaps in the diocese of Nelson, where the parishes of Brightwater and of Wakefield share an endowment of £11,000 bequeathed by Dr. Brewster. Nor must it be forgotten that among the greatest benefactors to the Church were Bishops Selwyn, Hobhouse, and Suter. The monetary gifts of themselves and their English friends have been estimated at no less than £30,000.
Diocesan Funds, on the other hand, seem to have attracted the attention of wealthy donors chiefly in Dunedin and in Waiapu. The former diocese has received large gifts from Mr. George Gray Russell; the latter has been permanently supplied with the stipend of an archdeacon from an anonymous source. The bishopric endowment of Nelson received not long since the sum of £8,000 from Miss Marsden; the poorer clergy of the archdeaconry of Christchurch, £5,000 under the will of Mrs. Townend. The pension fund of the northern dioceses is enriched by the capital sum of £3,000 from Mr. James Cottrell; that of Christchurch by a similar sum received under the will of Mr. F. G. Stedman.
In the department of charitable institutions Auckland stands distinguished. The Arrowsmith bequest for St. Mary's Homes at Otahuhu exceeded £11,000; the same homes and a children's home in the city of Auckland have received considerable sums from Sir J. Campbell and Mrs. Knox. In Christchurch the bishop administers the interest of £5,000 bequeathed by Mr. R. H. Rhodes for the spiritual benefit of the fallen and unfortunate. The daughters of the clergy throughout the Dominion found a wise friend in Miss Lohse, an honoured member of the teaching profession, who left the whole of her fortune for the furtherance of their higher education.
Second only in importance to the administration of the Word and Sacraments, comes the education of the young in the principles of the Christian faith. The New Zealand Church is happy in possessing two secondary boys' schools of first-rate importance—Christ's College Grammar School in the South Island, and the Wanganui Collegiate School in the North. Both were founded in the early 'fifties, and endowed with lands which now yield a substantial revenue. Both embody the best traditions of English public-school life. Wanganui has the larger number of boarders; Christ's College of day-boys. The old alumni of these institutions have become a power in the land, and, of late years, they have done much to provide their old schools with solid and handsome buildings.
Diocesan high schools for girls are found at Auckland and at Marton in the North Island, while in the South the Kilburn Sisters carry on collegiate schools at Dunedin and at Christchurch. There are also many private schools, both for girls and boys, wherein religious instruction is given.
It is in the primary department that the Church is weak. Except for three parochial schools in Christchurch, there is nothing in the country to correspond to the National School system in England. Almost every child in the Dominion attends some government day school, and in these, since 1877, religious teaching has formed no part of the curriculum. The clergy in many places have tried to supply the want by giving lessons out of school hours, but the difficulties are great, and the returns of attendance show strange fluctuations. The figures for the year 1912 give a total of 9,546 children who are thus taught, nearly two-thirds of the number being credited to the South Island. Agitation for an amendment of the Education Act has never altogether died down, and during the last two or three years it has acquired a strength and an organisation which it never had before. The success of the Bible-in-Schools movement in several of the Australian States has inspired the various religious bodies in New Zealand with hopeful determination to bring about a like reform. Quod festinet Deus noster.
In the meanwhile the one resource is the Sunday school. According to the latest returns, the Church of this country claims over 39,000 Sunday scholars, and rather more than 3,000 teachers. Here the North Island far outstrips the South. There are those who decry the Sunday school with its limited hours and its often untrained teachers, but the devotion of these voluntary workers is one of the brightest features of the church life of to-day; while the results of their labours—could they be really measured—would probably astonish the gainsayer. That the ethical ideals of the community are what they are, and that the moral standard achieved is what it is, must surely be largely due to the simple elements of Christian faith and duty which are inculcated in the Sunday school.
In comparison with the churches of older lands, the Church of New Zealand may seem to do little in the way of charitable relief. In a young and prosperous community there is not the same call for eleemosynary effort; and in New Zealand the whole community has taken up whatever burden of this kind there may be, and bears it as a part of its ordinary governmental task. That hospitals and asylums, homes for the aged, and even reformatories for the vicious, should be thus undertaken by the State is doubtless right and good, especially as every facility is given for ministers of religion to visit the inmates. The case stands differently with the care of the young and the rescue of the tempted and the fallen. Here the spiritual atmosphere is all-important. Our Church possesses orphanages in most of the large towns—Auckland (with three large institutions), Palmerston North, Nelson, Christchurch, and Dunedin; while in Napier and Wanganui it co-operates with other religious organisations to the same end.
Of rescue work not so much can be said. Through the influence of Sister Frances Torlesse, many devoted ladies in Christchurch entered upon this Christ-like work in the 'eighties, though the home they established has now been made over to the orphans. In Wellington, Mrs. Wallis took up the task, and the city still keeps up the institutions which she founded.
More pleasant is the thought of the agencies which aim at preventing vice, rather than at undoing its ravages. Mothers' Unions and Girls' Friendly Societies are spread widely throughout the land; while, owing to the visits of Mr. Woollcombe and Mr. Watts-Ditchfield, the Church of England Men's Society has taken firm root among us. Slowly but surely the supreme lesson of service is being learnt: the old type of layman who supported the Church as an honourable part of the State fabric, and as a barrier against revolution, is passing away before the newer type of enthusiastic worker, who feels the call of Christ to share in labour and sacrifice for the brotherhood and for the world.
The beginning of our history found New Zealand waiting for the coming of a Christian missionary. Many parts of Maoriland are still needing such a messenger to recall them from apostacy and indifference. But, on the whole, New Zealand is now a country which sends out missionaries rather than one that expects them. For many years past it has received no financial help from any outside society. The heathen parts of Maoridom are being evangelised by agents sent by the Church of the land—the South Island for this purpose helping the more heavily-burdened North. But all parts combine in following up Selwyn's mission to Melanesia. Though unable, as yet, to bear the whole of the cost, the Church of this Dominion has always followed this romantic undertaking with its sympathies and with its prayers. The hopeful beginnings under Selwyn and Patteson; the check caused by the latter's death; the slow recovery under the younger Selwyn; the great expansion under Bishop Wilson; the hopeful prospect under Bishop Wood—all this has formed part of our outlook upon the great world. Some of our sons and daughters have given themselves to the service, and no one can be considered to be a true member of our Church who does not contribute annually to the mission funds.
Still farther afield range the thoughts and the gaze of the young amongst us. Twenty-one years ago the old Church Missionary Society, which had done so much for New Zealand in the past, saw a daughter-society spring up in this distant country. The Church Missionary Association of New Zealand has been instrumental in greatly fostering the missionary spirit among young people, has sent out a goodly number to foreign countries, and raises a considerable sum for their support. Young New Zealanders are often more attracted by China and Japan than by the Maoris and Melanesians at their own doors.
What does this show but that the English Church in New Zealand must widen its outlook and expand its sympathies, till it feels itself lifted up and inspired to attempt greater things than anything yet achieved? For long centuries Christianity could never reach these islands: instead of advancing, it was driven back by the Mohammedan invasion. At last, with new knowledge and new hope, there came new enterprise and new daring. The very difficulties of the task became means to its accomplishment; through the most unlikely channels the beginnings of the message came. Portuguese and Hollander and Briton; and Tasman and Cook; rough whalers, and condemned criminals: in all these we must recognise the instruments which were used by the All-wise in the laying of our foundations. But it is to those who set themselves with conscious courage and far-seeing wisdom to build upon the stone thus laid—to Marsden and Williams and Selwyn—that we owe the deepest debt. Undeterred by the difficulties of their task, undismayed by the dangers of their way, these heroic men gave themselves to the work of building up under southern skies another England and another home for England's Church. It is the same spirit that is needed now, but with such fresh applications as are demanded by the new age.
In this book we have had to tell the hundred years' story of "the English Church in New Zealand." Perhaps the historian of a century hence may be able to trace its absorption into a Church which shall include all the broken fragments of the Body of Christ within its unity; all true schools of thought within its theology; all classes of men within its membership; every legitimate interest and pursuit within its gracious welcome!
For the present juncture the old words approve themselves as the most fitting: "Keep, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy Church with thy perpetual mercy; and, because the frailty of man without Thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord."
A TABLE EXHIBITING THE EPISCOPAL SUCCESSION IN NEW ZEALAND.
Those to whose names an asterisk is prefixed were consecrated under Royal Letters Patent.
DIOCESE OF NEW ZEALAND.
*GEORGE AUGUSTUS SELWYN: Consecrated October 17, 1841, at Lambeth, by W. Cantuar (Howley), C. J. London (Bloomfield), J. Lincoln (Kaye), W. H. Barbadoes (Coleridge). (Resigned May, 1869, after translation to Lichfield.)
DIOCESE OF AUCKLAND.
WILLIAM GARDEN COWIE: Consecrated June 29, 1869, at Westminster by A. C. Cantuar (Tait), J. London (Jackson), E. H. Ely (Browne), H. Worcester (Philpott), G. A. Lichfield (Selwyn), G. Columbia, F. T. McDougall, V. W. Ryan. (Died June 26th, 1902.)
MOORE RICHARD NELIGAN: Consecrated May 21, 1903, at St. Mary's Cathedral, Parnell, by S. T. Dunedin, C. Christchurch, C. O. Nelson, W. L. Waiapu. (Res. July 15, 1910.)
OWEN THOMAS LLOYD CROSSLEY: Consecrated April 25th, 1911, at St Mary's Cathedral, Parnell, by C. Christchurch, C. O. Mules, A. W. Waiapu, W. L. Williams. (Res. July 1, 1913.)
ALFRED WALTER AVERILL: Translated from Waiapu, February 10, 1914.
DIOCESE OF CHRISTCHURCH.
*HENRY JOHN CHITTY HARPER: Consecrated August 10, 1856, at Lambeth, by J. B. Cantuar (Sumner), C. R. Winchester (Charles R. Sumner), A. T. Chichester (Gilbert), S. Oxford (Wilberforce). (Res. March 31, 1890.)
CHURCHILL JULIUS: Consecrated May 1, 1890, in Christchurch Cathedral by O. Wellington, A. B. Nelson, S. T. Dunedin, E. C. Waiapu, H. J. C. Harper.
DIOCESE OF NELSON
*EDMUND HOBHOUSE: Consecrated September 29, 1858, in Lambeth Church, by J. B. Cantuar (Sumner), A. C. London (Tait), J. Lichfield (Lonsdale), S. Oxford (Wilberforce). (Res. Dec., 1865.)
ANDREW BURN SUTER: Consecrated August 24, 1866, in Canterbury Cathedral, by C. T. Cantuar (Longley), A. C. London (Tait), C. J. Gloucester (Ellicott). (Res. Oct., 1891.)
CHARLES OLIVER MULES: Consecrated February 24th, 1892, at St. Paul's, Wellington, by O. Wellington, W. G. Auckland, S. T. Dunedin, E. C. Waiapu, C. Christchurch. (Res. June 30, 1912.)
WILLIAM CHARLES SADLIER: Consecrated July 21, 1912, at Nelson, by S. T. Dunedin, T. H. Wellington, Lloyd Auckland.
DIOCESE OF WELLINGTON.
*CHARLES JOHN ABRAHAM: Consecrated September 29, 1858, in Lambeth Church, by J. B. Cantuar, A. C. London, J. Lichfield, S. Oxford. (Res. June 1, 1870.)
OCTAVIUS HADFIELD: Consecrated at Wellington, October 9, 1870, by H. J. C. Christchurch, W. Waiapu, A. B. Nelson, W. G. Auckland. (Res. October 9, 1893)
FREDERIC WALLIS: Consecrated in St. Paul's, Wellington, January 25, 1895, by W. G. Auckland, C. Christchurch, J. Salisbury (Wordsworth), C. O. Nelson, C. Melanesia, S. T. Dunedin, W. L. Waiapu. (Res. April 23, 1911.)
THOMAS HENRY SPROTT: Consecrated June 6, 1911, in St. Paul's Cathedral, Wellington, by C. Christchurch, A. W. Waiapu, O. T. L. Auckland, W. L. Williams.
DIOCESE OF WAIAPU.
*WILLIAM WILLIAMS: Consecrated April 3, 1859 at Wellington, by G. A. New Zealand, H. J. C. Christchurch, C. J. Wellington, E. Nelson. (Res. May 31, 1876.)
EDWARD CRAIG STUART: Consecrated December 9, 1877, at Napier, by H. J. C. Christchurch, W. G. Auckland, O. Wellington. (Res. Jan. 31, 1894.)
WILLIAM LEONARD WILLIAMS: Consecrated January 20, 1895, in Napier Cathedral, by W. G. Auckland, C. Christchurch, C. O. Nelson, C. Melanesia. (Res. June 30, 1909.)
ALFRED WALTER AVERILL: Consecrated January 16, 1910, in Napier Cathedral, by S. T. Dunedin, C. Christchurch, C. O. Nelson, F. Wellington, M. R. Auckland, W. L. Williams. Tr. to Auckland, February, 1914.
WILLIAM WALMSLEY SEDGWICK: Consecrated February 22, 1914, in Napier Cathedral, by S. T. Dunedin, C. Christchurch, A. W. Auckland, T. H. Wellington, W. C. Nelson, C. O. Mules, W. L. Williams.
DIOCESE OF DUNEDIN.
SAMUEL TARRATT NEVILLE: Consecrated June 4, 1871, at Dunedin, by H. J. C. Christchurch, A. B. Nelson, O. Wellington, W. Waiapu.
DIOCESE OF MELANESIA.
JOHN COLERIDGE PATTESON: Consecrated February 24, 1861, in St. Paul's, Auckland, by G. A. New Zealand, E. Nelson, C. J. Wellington. (Killed September 20, 1871.)
JOHN RICHARDSON SELWYN: Consecrated at Nelson, February 18, 1877, by H. J. C. Christchurch, A. B. Nelson, W. G. Auckland, O. Wellington, S. T. Dunedin. (Res. 1891.)
CECIL WILSON: Consecrated June 11, 1894, at Auckland, by W. G. Auckland, S. T. Dunedin, C. Christchurch, C. O. Nelson. (Res. July, 1911.)
CECIL JOHN WOOD: Consecrated July 14th, 1912, at Dunedin, by S. T. Dunedin, T. H. Wellington, Lloyd Auckland.
This table reveals the curious fact that Dr. Selwyn, while Bishop of New Zealand, consecrated only two bishops, viz., W. Williams and Patteson. Of these, Bishop Patteson never had the opportunity of laying hands on another bishop. Bishop Williams joined in the consecration of but one bishop, viz., Hadfield. The tactual succession from the great Bishop of New Zealand has therefore passed to the present episcopate only through two of the missionaries who were at work in the country before his arrival. Dr. Selwyn joined in the consecration of Bishop Cowie, but only as one of the English diocesans.
AUTHORITIES FOR THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH IN NEW ZEALAND.
The student of New Zealand Church History needs to glean his information, bit by bit, from many quarters, but there are certain outstanding authorities to which he will go at the outset. These are not all of equal value, and they need to be used with discrimination.
For the life and work of Samuel Marsden, the promised volume by the late Dr. Hocken should take the first place. Meanwhile, the "Memoirs" published by the Religious Tract Society in 1858 are of primary importance. The book has been reprinted in modified form by Messrs. Whitcombe and Tombs (1913). The editor, Mr. Drummond, has been able to correct a few mistakes, and has supplied some additional information. The original author, the Rev. J. B. Marsden, had no personal knowledge of his hero nor of the scenes of his labours. He consequently falls into error here and there, but his book gives a faithful and interesting picture of the religious side of the great missionary's life and work. Another side is presented in the "Narrative of a Voyage to New Zealand" (1817) by John Liddiard Nicholas, whose book has the high authority of an eye-witness. Much useful information on the work of Marsden and his helpers has been collected in Brett's "Early History of New Zealand" (Auckland, 1890).
For the subsequent history of the mission, the chief available authority is "Christianity among the New Zealanders," by the first Bishop of Waiapu (London, 1867). Living on the spot, and being one of the principal actors in the events which he describes, the bishop is able to give a detailed account whose value is only marred by the mistakes made by the English printers in the spelling of Maori names.
For the Selwynian period, the "Life and Episcopate" of the great bishop by Prebendary Tucker (two vols., London, 1879) is a primary authority. Its value is seriously diminished by the author's want of acquaintance with New Zealand geography, and still more by his studied disparagement of the Church Missionary Society, but his book remains indispensable for its collection of letters. A useful corrective to Tucker may be found in Dr. Eugene Stock's History of the C.M.S.—a book which, in spite of some startling inaccuracies, throws a welcome light on many obscure passages of our history.
More reliable than either of these varying presentations of the bishop's policy and work is the small volume of "Annals of the Colonial Church. Diocese of New Zealand" (London, 1857), which contains the bishop's journals for the first years of his episcopate. Lady Martin's unpretending little book on "Our Maoris" is extremely valuable as coming from one who was a devoted member of the Selwyn circle.
The unhappy controversy between Bishop Selwyn and Archdeacon Henry Williams had at least this good result, that it led to the compilation of a full and authoritative life of the latter by his son-in-law, Mr. Hugh Carleton (two vols., Auckland, 1874 and 1877). When allowance is made for the personal bias of the talented author who fights both governor and bishop "with the gloves off," the book remains an authority of the first rank.
The Rev. J. King Davis' "History of St. John's College" (Auckland); Bishop Cowie's "Our Last Year in New Zealand" (London, 1888); and Canon Mason's "Round the Round World on a Church Mission" (London, 1892), may also be mentioned as supplying interesting details of church work, especially in the mother diocese of Auckland.
On the whole, it must be said that in contrast with the Melanesian Mission, which possesses its biographies of Bishop Patteson and Bishop J. R. Selwyn, its detailed history by Mrs. Armstrong, and several other books of a descriptive and historical character, the New Zealand Church is meagrely provided. The early missionaries themselves published little. Yate's "Account of New Zealand" (1835), and Taylor's "Te Ika a Maui" (London, 1855), and his "Past and Present of New Zealand" (1868), stand almost alone. Some journals have been printed for private circulation; others are only available in MS.; others again have been destroyed. No biography exists of any of our bishops except those of Selwyn by Tucker and Curteis, and that of Bishop Harper by the present writer. Yet where could be found a better subject for a memoir than Bishop Hadfield? Bishop William Williams also should surely have his biography, but the materials for such a book seem to have been used as fuel by the British soldiers during the siege of Waerenga-a-hika in 1868. Archdeacons Brown and Maunsell also deserve that their life histories should be told. The founders of Canterbury should not be allowed to pass into oblivion. Altogether there remains much work to be done by the historical student of the future.
The dates given in brackets are those of the birth and death of the person indexed; where only the date of death is known it is preceded by a †.
 The missionaries generally used the terms Te Puna and Rangihoua indiscriminately.
 Marsden's routes of travel during this time have been thoroughly traced and elucidated by Dr. Hocken. In a biography or in a work on the exploration of New Zealand a full account of these interesting journeys should be given. But, for reasons which will presently appear, they have hardly any importance for the history of the Church. One Rembrandtesque passage may be quoted in which Marsden narrates his visit to the pa of Pataua, near Whangarei. This pa was built high above the sea, upon rocks which had "the appearance of an old abbey in ruins.... I was conducted up the narrow pass [writes Marsden] which I could not ascend without assistance, the path was so steep and narrow. When I had reached the top, I found a number of men, women, and children sitting round their fires roasting snappers, crawfish, and fern root. It was now quite dark. The roaring of the sea at the foot of the pa, as the waves rolled into the deep caverns beneath the high precipice upon which we stood, whose top and sides were covered with huts, and the groups of natives conversing round their fires, all tended to excite new and strange ideas for reflection."
 I have ventured to substitute this term for the "Mercury Bay" of the original. It is clear that Marsden thought himself much further north than he really was. Dr. Hocken proposes to read "Towranga," which, of course, means the same as my own emendation.
 This account is taken from the Nelson Church Messenger, of some years ago. Bishop Williams thinks the surveyor must have been misled to some extent.
 For the right understanding of the subsequent history, the following extract from a letter of Gibbon Wakefield to Mr. J. R. Godley (Dec. 21st, 1847) is of the utmost importance: "I really cannot tell you what the Bishop of New Zealand is. His see was created by us in spite of many obstacles put in our way by the Church and the Government. Indeed, we forced the measure on the Melbourne Government; and in that measure originated all the new Colonial bishoprics. If our views had been taken up by the Church, great results would have been obtained both for the Church and colonisation. I will not say that Dr. Selwyn turned round upon us, and joined our foes, the anti-colonising 'Church Missionary Society'; but I am sure he is not a wise man."
 Selwyn had an Englishman's love for a stone building, and always spoke of the wooden churches of the country as "chapels." Yet some of these despised buildings (e.g., those at Kaitaia and at Russell), which had been built before his arrival, are still in existence and in regular use; whereas his "solid" church, at Tamaki, which he looked upon with so much pride, very soon proved dangerous, and is now a picturesque ruin.
 In the negotiations which followed the war, Heke addressed the British commissioner as "King of Babylon," much to the embarrassment of Henry Williams, who was acting as interpreter!
 It is strange to find the good Lady Martin recording this action without a word of disapproval. Carleton's defence of it is extraordinary. If the Maoris had been given the Apocrypha (which they had not) they might have read of Jonathan the Maccabee fighting a defensive battle on the Sabbath. The amusing part is that Carleton himself could not at the moment lay his hand on a copy of the Apocrypha, and had to fall back on Josephus! A more consoling comment is given by Lieut.-Col. Mundy: "Who shall say that this neglect of man's ordinances and observance of God's in the time of their trouble, did not bring with them a providential and merciful result? It led, doubtless, to their almost instantaneous defeat; but it saved them and the English from the tenfold carnage which a more vigilant and disciplined resistance, from within their walls, would have infallibly caused."
 Archdeacon Williams' son-in-law, Mr. Hugh Carleton, has left it on record that the archdeacon and his family would at any time have given up the lands, if only the bishop had shown them some sympathy and publicly disavowed his concurrence with the governor's charges.
 Even as late as the year 1866 the Secretary of the C.M.S. (the Rev. Henry Venn) could write out to New Zealand: "If all the colonial churches are to be made free, the Church of England would be ruined as a missionary church. The people of England would never send out missionaries to be under Free Bishops."
 It is a matter for regret that the scene of this first episcopal consecration in New Zealand can no longer be pointed out. The church stood, opposite the Museum, on government land which now forms part of the grounds surrounding the Parliament buildings. But portions of the structure were removed to the Bolton-street cemetery, and still form part of the mortuary chapel there.
 The professor evidently means the Roman and Anglican churches.
 I have kept out of the text all mention of the burning of women and children in a whare at this place, because one clings to the belief that it was accidental. Englishmen don't do things like that intentionally. But there can be no doubt that it made a deep impression upon the Maori mind. The English general had told them (they said) to send their women and children to Rangiaohia for safety. They did so, and then the troops, instead of attacking their men, attacked and burnt their women. The Maoris seem to have had a peculiar horror of fire. In their most savage days they always killed their enemies before they cooked them.
 This is generally admitted; but Bishop Williams, who had exceptional opportunities for studying Hauhauism, thinks that the element of Judaism was very slight.
 The grave is now "before the altar" of the new chancel, which extends further eastwards than the old one.
 It is to be hoped that such histories may soon be taken in hand. That of the diocese of Waiapu has already been compiled by J. B. Fielder, Esq., and I would wish to express my obligations to him for lending me the manuscript of his work.
 This was the Hon. A. G. Tollemache, who afterwards added another section of city land for an episcopal endowment.
 From "The Christian Year Beneath the Southern Cross," by the Rev. F. R. Inwood.
The following errors have been corrected in this text and are shown within the text with .
Page vi, 'libarary' changed to 'library'
Page vii, 'seems' changed to 'seem'
Page x, Extraneous line of text removed, original read:
'her ministerial activities; but for vestries and church com-
earth. Nor can I forget that loving and gentle yet firm and
mittees the work is harder, demanding, as it does, so much'
Page xvi, 'Korarareka' changed to 'Kororareka'
Page 8, 'Paramatta' changed to 'Parramatta'
Page 30, 'Kendal' changed to 'Kendall'
Page 34, 'Paramatta' changed to 'Parramatta'
Page 72, 'Ruaparaha' changed to 'Rauparaha'
Page 83, 'Wiliams' changed to 'Williams'
Page 112, 'Hawkes Bay' changed to 'Hawke's Bay'
Page 158, 'deliberrate' changed to 'deliberate'
Page 159, 'Lyttleton' changed to 'Lyttelton'
Page 164, 'Wiliams' changed to 'Williams'
Page 183, 'difficuly' changed to 'difficulty'
Page 194, 'Wiliams' changed to 'Williams'
Page 203, 'Waeranga' changed to 'Waerenga'
Page 242, 'Da Gama' changed to 'da Gama'
Page 249, 'Marumarua' changed to 'Maramarua'
Page 249, Duplicate index entries for Timaru and Napier under heading 'Churches' deleted.